President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) Rally will be held today at the Ford Center in downtown Evansville.
Doors open at 4 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. A pre-registered ticket is required for entry.
With Owensboro being about 40 miles from the Ford Center in Evansville, the proximity is close enough to get Owensboro residents excited to see the President of the United States. Whether locals are making the short drive to support or protest the president, Owensboro residents aren’t missing an opportunity to see the Commander in Chief.
Mary Ava Poole, a K-5 art teacher at Eastview Elementary School, says that no matter who the current president happened to be, she’d be excited to hear him speak.
“Minus the politics, we should respect that person,” Poole said.
Owensboro resident Chris Nesmith feels the same way.
“It’s special anytime a president visits the area,” Nesmith said. “We’re local too.”
Nesmith was raised in a “very political family,” so politics has always been one of his focuses. The MAGA rally gives Nesmith a chance to see politics in action. The care and concern for politics is something Nesmith wishes more people his age had a passion for.
“Not as many people focus on politics as they should,” he says. “I’m almost 30. The younger generations coming into voting age, they’ve never been taught the importance of politics, and a lot don’t care. I feel like people downgrade the importance of being President of the United States.”
While Nesmith classifies himself as a supporter of Trump, it doesn’t mean he agrees with all the president’s actions.
“It’s 50-50 with the Republicans who support Trump and those who don’t,” he says. “He’s definitely an outspoken individual. I don’t try to justify the wrongs he’s done. He speaks from his heart, says how he feels. I’m not a huge supporter of being politically correct on every single thing.”
Meanwhile, Poole feels that the rally might contain a lot of tension–in part, due to Trump’s outspoken personality, but also due to the huge divide his presidency has seemingly caused.
“I think it’ll [the rally] be crazy,” says Poole. “Some of my friends want to go, but they fear for their safety because they’re Trump supporters. You can’t show support or backlash toward anyone.”
Poole added that the fear of showing support for either side of the coin comes from the culture media and people alike have created.
Nesmith believes the Trump presidency has created division unlike any of the former presidents, but he doesn’t know that the MAGA Rally will cause too much strife for ticket-holders.
“I’d say Evansville as a whole is supportive of Trump,” he says. “I think tomorrow is going to be unique. Anywhere Trump goes is a mix of a supportive and unsupportive crowd.”
As for topics, Poole isn’t sure what to expect, but she guesses Trump will discuss things like immigration and economics. Some news sources have mentioned Trump might be in the area to support Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun.
Whatever the case for his arrival, Poole and Nesmith want to know.
“There’s so much mystery to this,” says Poole.
That mystery and the expected long lines mean Nesmith and Poole plan to leave earlier than expected.
“The original goal was to be there at 4 p.m. when they open the doors,” said Nesmith. “We may show up at 3 p.m.”
Poole agrees–the earlier the better.
“I’m going to try to go right after school,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to get in because there’s already a line.”
For those Owensboro residents who are planning on making the trip to Evansville, here is a list of things that you need to know:
Venue doors will be closed at 7 p.m. with no entry allowed after.
Attendees will go through security screening by U.S. Secret Service, including a metal detector. No posters, banners or signs will be allowed inside.
No professional cameras with lenses are permitted.
No tripods, monopods, selfie sticks or GoPros are allowed.
ID is not required for entry.