OBAMA TICKETS: 2,000 people wrap around Lake Harriet - KMSP-TV

OBAMA TICKETS: 2,000 people wrap around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

More than 2,000 people wrapped a quarter-mile around Lake Harriet in southwest Minneapolis on Wednesday for free tickets to hear the president speak on Friday. President Barack Obama will arrive in Minneapolis on Thursday for a town hall meeting and private fundraising event before delivering a policy speech at the Lake Harriet Band Shell.

Obama has been struggling in the polls, but that wasn't apparent among the long line of people hoping to get a free ticket to his Friday speech.

"I definitely feel like this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I had to go get tickets even though we knew it was going to be a long wait," Moly Eldevik said.

Those tickets came directly from the White House, and Thomas Brennan was among those who walked away with the prize.

"I'm excited," he said despite his four-hour wait.

If Molly and Thomas had been at the front of the line, they could have found the end of it just a quarter mile away. That's where Fox 9 News found Theresa Olson.

"Of course, I had to go to yoga, that's why I'm so late to get in line," she said.

At Minnehaha Park, the falls are just a rare sideshow compared to the prep work now underway for the town hall meeting with the president -- an event the president's staff says is about hearing from real people still trying to recover from the economy.

"I really think the president wants to talk about the progress that folks are making, but also wants to talk about the challenges that still remain -- and who we in Washington can help propel the progress that we are seeing in the economy," Deputy Communication Director Amy Brundage said.

Obama is expected to talk a lot on policy, but the visit also has strong political implications for local Democrats.

"One of the things that keeps me up at night … in a midterm election, we see big parts of the Democratic base that don't get out and vote and there's no one more popular with Democratic base voters in this state, and across the country even, than President Obama."

The president is set to arrive in Minneapolis at about noon, and the town hall will take place in the mid-afternoon. Minnesota was chosen as the destination for the economic town hall and policy speech because of the state’s minimum wage hike passed this legislative session.

OBAMA EVENTS

Thursday, June 26
Town Hall with President Obama
2 p.m. Minnehaha Park
Open to invited guests

Friday, June 27
President Obama speech
11 a.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell
Public tickets distributed

There will be no parking at Lake Harriet on the day of the president’s visit, according to the tickets. Guests must take a shuttle the bandshell, with the first shuttle running at 6:45 a.m. Doors open for the event at 8:30 a.m. All guests must pass through airport-like screening before entering the bandshell area.

PHOTO: BACK OF THE LINE


FUN FACT

In 1964, Minneapolis had to open fire hydrants to “create” the Minnehaha Falls for President Lyndon B. Johnson. That won’t be necessary for President Obama’s visit.


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