Gastonia prepares for Trump’s visit with more than 15,000 expected to attend

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GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — In less than 24 hours, thousands of people will pack the Gastonia Municipal Airport to hear President Donald Trump speak at his campaign stop.

Trump’s visit, happening in the middle of rush hour, could cause a traffic nightmare for drivers, so you’ll want to avoid the area at the Gaston-Mecklenburg County line if you can.

Some people FOX 46 spoke with on Tuesday didn’t even know the president was coming to Gastonia Wednesday, but were glad for the heads up, not wanting to get stuck in what’s already a traffic trouble spot.

“85 is a nightmare traveling during rush hour morning and night,” Gaston County neighbor Kenny Livesay said.

Trump’s event starts at 7 p.m., but the doors open at 4 p.m., meaning roads will likely be congested for hours.

“Normally it is heavy around 4 or 5 p.m. people getting off work and think about the president himself coming…oh yes the traffic is going to be, really hear,” said Jenny Coley, who lives in Charlotte.

For security reasons, the president’s exact route has not been released, but if he travels by motorcade from the Air National Guard in Charlotte, he’ll have to either go on I-85 or Wilkinson Boulevard to get to the Gastonia Airport.

“Regardless of the traffic, people should just push and go on. Everybody I’ve talked to is so excited they’re going to the rally. This pretty much is Trump country right here.,” Linda Whisnant said.

Linda and Phyllis Whisnant’s church moved its Wednesday night services in Cherryville to Thursday because the president is coming to town.

“That would give everybody a chance to go to the rally if they wanted to go and to avoid the traffic. We have a lot of older people and that way they didn’t have to get in the jammed up traffic,” said Whisnant.

No one is surprised that Gastonia is front and center for politics as Election Day gets closer.

“A lot of people are very interested they’re looking they’re watching they’re waiting they want to see what’s going to happen.”

Officials are expecting a crowd of 15,000 people for the Trump rally tomorrow.

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