GREAT FALLS – The President is scheduled to land in Great Falls on Thursday afternoon with Air Force One touching down at the Great Falls International Airport.
The gates at Montana Expopark gates will be locked until 10:30 a.m. and that’s when people can go ahead and get in line. The doors won’t open until 1 p.m., but Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards is expecting around 6,000 people to come out to hear President Trump speak at 4 p.m.
He says to expect a high law enforcement presence with officers from Lewis and Clark, Teton and Cheatou counties will also be here helping to provide extra security.
Sheriff Edwards is asking that those attending the rally or the protest to listen to directions from law enforcement because things can change quickly.
There are a few things you should keep in mind if you are coming out hear to listen to President Trump speak. He asks you don’t bring weapons of any kind and no alcohol is allowed.
Finally, make sure you wear sunscreen because it’s going to be a hot day with long lines.
Gate and Parking Information:
- 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.
- 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)
- The Gates will OPEN at 10:30 AM. This time could change depending on Secret Service Operations. Please be patient.
- There will be parking attendants available to assist you. Please follow their directions.
- Those with the proper handicap parking license plates or decals will be guided to the handicap parking area.
- It is imperative that everyone that is driving on the grounds listen to directions from parking attendants and law enforcement personnel.
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:
- 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)
- 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:
- There will be a strong Law Enforcement Presence.
- Expect long lines.
- 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.
- There is a potential to see demonstrators
- 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.
- 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.