Donald Trump Rolls Into The Tri-State [PHOTOS]
This year's Presidential election hasn't even happened yet and it's already historic. The crowds are massive, the polls are spilling over, and the passion is as strong as I've ever witnessed. On Thursday, Republican candidate Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Evansville in advance of Tuesday's Indiana primary and I have to say, I had fun. Here's my recap.
I arrived in downtown Evansville around 10:15 and when I arrived at the Old National Events Plaza, I was told the line to get in was completely wrapped around the building and the back of the line was almost two blocks away. I looked up the capacity for the venue, and it's almost 3,000. Needless to say, not everyone was going to get into the Aiken Theater where the main rally was to be held. I, nor the folks around me panicked. They were going to get everyone in somewhere. Merch was everywhere!
Every ten to twenty feet there was another peddler. I've never seen so many different styles and colors of t-shirts. This gentleman was very enthusiastic!
I starting chatting up a few ladies in line. One of them was originally from Tennessee, but she grew up in Evansville and she was worried her husband wouldn't be able to find her. Another lady with her kids was behind me expressing the same concern. One thing that did impress me, the massive line kept moving. The fact the weather was nice made standing in a long line tolerable. As of late, I hadn't seen any reports on the news about protester interruptions, but there were a few across the from the line.
As the line crept closer to the main entrance, more and more people headed to the back of the line and I noticed a lot of young people were showing up. I would say the youth vote, those who turn 18 before Election Day, will make a big impact for both candidates.
The door was in sight! All of a sudden, a gentleman in suit started shouting out some pre-rally instructions. I get in the door and I have to present my purse, have it searched, and I was good to go. My ticket wasn't taken or scanned. I'm thinking the folks who were lucky enough to get into the theater had their tickets scanned. I followed the crowd to a large exhibit hall where a huge screen was set up, camera focused on Trump's signature lectern.
At one point, the crowd dashed towards the corner to the left of the screen where there was a tiny riser set up; word was Trump was going to pop in before he entered the theater. It didn't happen and for the first time, I did start to panic. I was stuck for a few minutes. I snapped this picture before I escaped the throng.
Yes, the shoulder climbing began. Well, Trump didn't come out into the hall, I heard, until after the rally. Finally, the moment arrived.
If you have been following Trump's Indiana trip, he made an appearance in Indianapolis Wednesday with former Indiana coach Bobby Knight. On Thursday, Trump introduced Knight to the crowd. Yes, "The General" was there!
After Knight told a story, Trump returned for his speech which didn't really deviate from what he's been saying all over the country. I decided to leave a little early and when I did I witnessed a bigger protest: Trump supporters vs. Anti-Trump protestors.
The EPD controlled the situation very well and no one in the opposing crowds got out of hand, there was just a lot of shouting between them. To be honest, the anti-Trump crowd was a little more into it. Like I said, there's a great amount of passion and we're still about six months out from the general election.