Across the country, girls kept their fingers crossed as parents cringed, terrified at the thought of not getting tickets to Hannah Montana, the hottest concert of the year.

But for a slew of local girls (and their parents) the dream of attending the 14-year-old pop star's The Best of Both Worlds concert tour became a reality.

On Wednesday, carloads of blond-wigged, Hannah-followers from Stephenville made the trek to the Fort Worth Convention Center to watch their favorite singer perform.

And parents - determined to make their daughters happy - didn't mind paying high prices for the sought-after tickets.

Stephenville resident Holli Isham was able to get four tickets from Ticketmaster soon after they went on sale.

“I paid out the nose for them,” Holli said. “But it was worth it for Maren to get to see the show.”

Like millions of young girls around the country, Maren, 7, is a “huge” Hannah fan. Likewise, so is eight-year-old Gracie Cooper, who attended the show with her mom, Gretchen, and sister, Emma, and friend, Kensie Colegrove.

Gretchen said she started searching for tickets the day they went on sale - after Gracie said going to the concert was the only thing she wanted for Christmas.

Gretchen said the tickets first went on sale on a Saturday, but a special pre-sale allowed those willing to pay a little extra the opportunity to purchase them the Tuesday before. All they needed was a special Hannah Montana password.

“So I got on the Web site and bought a pre-sale password,” Gretchen said. “Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. that Tuesday and I had four of them at 10:02.”

Cory and Kim Smith managed to score 12 of the coveted tickets after sales were reopened only days before the concert.

“My husband was on the Internet with his mother and sister trying to get tickets,” Kim said. “At one point he was on three different phones with Ticketmaster.”

When the Smiths surprised their daughter, Kali, with the tickets, they said she was “in shock.”

When she learned that she would get to bring along eight friends, she screamed.

And speaking of screaming - there was no shortage of that as thousands of girls converged in Fort Worth Wednesday.

“I've never heard so many girls screaming at once,” Gretchen said. “When Hannah sang the Best of Both Worlds, everyone just went crazy. It was a blast!”

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.