President Trump’s visit to Great Falls: safety and security guidelines

Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-04 15:06:43-04

GREAT FALLS – We’re finding out more information about President Trump’s visit to Great Falls this week.

Once the last employee left the Montana Expo Park on Tuesday night the gates were locked and won’t be reopened until 10:30 a.m. on July 5th.

"There is many moving parts to this whole thing, " said Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards, who held a Tuesday press conference to go over what people should expect for president Donald Trump’s visit.

 "We have the entire fairgrounds to worry about in the Expo Park. The Secret Service is in control of the Four Seasons Arena," Sheriff Edwards said.

Once the gates reopen the public will only be able to enter the park through two of the gates — on 3rd  Street Northwest and one on 6th Street Northwest.

"Half of this main parking lot will be assigned for those with handicaps or disabled plates," Sheriff Edwards said, adding that no shuttles will run to the Four Seasons, so people may have to walk a distance to get to the venue.

"The food midway, everyone will be guided there and there will be barriers set up. The line will start there. We will not let people through that barrier until the Secret Service opens the doors for the event," Sheriff Edwards explained.

He added that picnic tables and benches will be set up and that the Paddock Club will also be open to sell food and drinks for those waiting in line.

"What not to bring to this event: Weapons of any kind are not allowed — guns, knives, nothing sharp, pepper sprays or chemical sprays," Sheriff Edwards said.

Lawn chairs or coolers are not allowed while you are waiting in line and alcohol should not be brought to the event.

"You are going to see a very strong law enforcement presence. I want people to expect long lines — there is a high potential that you will see demonstrators. Let them protest peacefully," Sheriff Edwards said.

Sheriff Edwards says any disorderly conduct will not be tolerated and those people will be removed and they could possibly be arrested. He added that they are expecting 6,000 people to attend the event so he asking people to please be patient as you wait to get into the Four Seasons Arena.

Barriers are already set up around the Montana Expo Park and Sheriff Edwards says you risk being arrested if you go around the barriers.

The event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. There is no word yet on whether President Trump will visit Malmstrom Air Force Base or any other organizations or businesses in/around Great Falls. We do not know when Air Force One is scheduled to land at Great Falls International Airport. Details about the Presidential motorcade from the airport to the event site are not being released. People can request free tickets to the rally at the Donald Trump website by clicking here.

    Gate and Parking Information:

    1. The Expo Park gate will be closed and locked starting Tuesday (July 3, 2018) after the last employee leaves for the day.   The gates will remain locked through the 4th of July. Overnight camp outs will NOT be allowed.
    2. On July 5, 2018 (day of event) three gates will be open for those attending the event.  These gates will be open for vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  They are as follows:A) 3rd St NW Gate across from the Cowboys Bar; B) 3rd St NW Gate behind the 1st Interstate Bank; C) 6th St NW Entrance (West Side of the Expo Park just off of 5th Ave NW)
    3. The Gates will OPEN at 10:30 AM.  This time could change depending on Secret Service Operations.  Please be patient.
    4. There will be parking attendants available to assist you.  Please follow their directions. 
    5. Those with the proper handicap parking license plates or decals will be guided to the handicap parking area. 
    6. It is imperative that everyone that is driving on the grounds listen to directions from parking attendants and law enforcement personnel. 

    Security Barriers:

    Barriers have been put in place at the Expo Park for safety and security reasons.  DO NOT cross any barriers that are in place to try and get ahead of the lines. If a person violates this rule, and are caught in a secure area, they could be removed from the Expo Park and their attendance canceled. Worst case scenario, you will be arrested and charged under Montana Law or Federal Law.  This is serious and we will not take it lightly. 

    Lines for the Event:

    Lines will be formed to the south of the Four Seasons Arena.  This area is commonly known as the food midway during the state fair.  All persons attending will stay behind the barriers until the doors open.  Doors will tentatively open at 1 p.m. There will be picnic tables and possibly benches in place for your comfort while waiting to get into the venue.  The Paddock Club will be open and serving food and cold drinks (non-alcohol). Bathrooms will be available in the paddock club and in the Trades and Industries Building.  

    What not to bring to the Event:

    1. Do not bring weapons of any kind.  This includes the following: a) Guns; b) Knives; c) Nothing Sharp; d) Pepper Spray or Chemical Sprays; e) Medical Sharps will be evaluated by the Secret Service; f) Medical Devices will be evaluated by the Secret Service; g) (If in doubt…leave the item in your car or at home)
    2. No lawn chairs or coolers for waiting in line.  If you do bring these items, you will not be allowed to take it inside with you.  We do not have a place nor the people in place to secure your items.  3. No Alcohol4. Please check your tickets for further information on what is allowed.  


    For those of you that are attending to demonstrate or protest a policy there is an area designated for folks to peacefully exercise freedom of speech. The area is located to the West of the 4 seasons Arena directly in front of the FFA barn.  We have people in place to guide you to that location.  For those that are not demonstrating: Please respect the rights of those that are peacefully protesting.   Fighting, interfering with operations and disorderly conduct to name a few, will not be tolerated.

    What to expect overall:

    1. There will be a strong Law Enforcement Presence.
    2. Expect long lines. 
    3. Warm to hot weather with limited shade while in line.  Be prepared.  Non-alcoholic beverages and food are allowed in line and are available for purchase if you do not bring your own.  Please use sunblock.  
    4. There is a potential to see demonstrators
    5. Every person that enters the 4 Season Arena will be screened by the Secret Service.  To avoid delays, cooperate fully with them to help make this process run smooth.  
    6. Parking is available however, you may be directed to park a fair distance from the 4 seasons arena.  Please be prepared to walk.  

    Sheriff Edwards concluded: "It is rare that a sitting President pay a visit to our community. Let’s make our moment in history a positive one by giving our President and each other the respect we all deserve.  Let us show the United States that we are a first-class state with first-class citizens."

    Our MTN News team will be live throughout the afternoon from the president’s arrival to the rally at the Four Seasons Arena. You can also follow the events online along with all of our social media channels.