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Fans travel great distances to see Elton John in Hershey

Melissa Thomas, 41, of Southport, North Carolina, and her husband were $43,000 in debt in 2010. Her main reason for wanting to get out of debt was to keep seeing Sir Elton John play live.

She couldn't stop after 18 years of attending his shows, after all.

Friday night's Hershey performance was Thomas' 34th time seeing Sir Elton.

"I don't really care what he plays, I just love to watch him," Thomas said.

Thomas, who also watched the Rocket Man open his East Coast leg of the tour in Savannah Wednesday night, has tickets to see him Saturday in Wilkes Barre and Tuesday in Allentown, which also happens to be her birthday.

Thomas' glittery jacket, which she bought at Goodwill, was embellished with an emerald dress shirt and light up piano pin.

"I have an Elton wardrobe," she said, sharing that she has similar blouses in other colors to wear with the jacket to concerts, which she attends with super fans she's met through fan groups on Facebook.

"By virtue of going to the same shows, you see the same people and become friends." She's also met all the musicians Sir Elton plays with, but has never met the pianist himself.

"It's my lifelong dream," Thomas said.

Others also traveled great distances to see Sir Elton play Friday night. Mary Ray and Joe Wood, a sister and brother from central New York, have been going to see Elton shows since the 1970s. Between the two of them, this is their 11th Elton John concert.

"We were there when he played with Kiki Dee at the Rich Stadium [now the New Era Field] in '76 when 'Don't go Breakin' My Heart' was the big deal," Ray said.

It wasn't just a night for the Elton pros, though. Lou Pelloni and Kathy Luft, both of New Cumberland, were excited to see their first Elton John concert at Giant Center.

Luft listed "Crocodile Rock" and "Yellow Brick Road" to the songs she was hoping to hear, while Pelloni smiled and added "Benny & The Jets" and "Philadelphia Freedom" to his top picks.

In Giant Center, there was no shortage of excitement as fans filed in wearing colored glasses with crazy frames and pins with Elton John's face on them.

"I personally think he'll never stop performing," Thomas said, adding she'll be very sad when he retires.

Thankfully for central Pa., that night was not Friday night.