Southaven prepares for President Trump’s rally next week

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Sep. 27, 2018 at 4:18 PM CDT
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SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Next week, President Donald Trump will rally in Southaven.

It will be his first trip to the Mississippi city since becoming president.

This is the second time the Landers Center has hosted a sitting president. In 2002, President George Bush came to rally for a governor candidate.

We're told President Trump’s "Make America Great Again" will also be showing his support for Republican candidates in the upcoming election.

His visit comes days after the Mid-South Fair wraps up. It will be tight turnaround for fair vendors to clean up and be out by Monday at noon.

“Sunday night we will be actively doing everything we can to cleanup and move the fair, they will actually head to the Mississippi State fair in Jackson, get everyone and everything out of here,” said Todd Mastry, executive director of the Landers Center.

Plans for the inside of the 10,000-seat arena have yet to be set by President Trump staff members.

Mastry said long before the official rally announcement was made, he prepared partners with the fair for the need of the expedited clean up.

“We haven’t had our meeting with Secret Service yet, they have met with some local law enforcement,” Mastry said. “So, we are preparing what’s going to happen on the inside.”

They’re not the only ones preparing for the president’s visit.

Many of the details surrounding Tuesday's presidential visit to Southaven are being kept quiet for security reasons.

Southaven's police department said drivers and residents should be prepared for high traffic and possible road closures.

“There is no doubt it’s a big deal,” said Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite. “You got an active president of the United States is coming to your city. I also think it speaks well of our city. We’ve come a very big center of influence for not just the state of Mississippi, but also the mid-south region.”

Planning meetings between the secret service and local law enforcement began Wednesday, one day after the official rally announcement.

However, Mayor Musselwhite and The Landers Center have quietly prepared for the event for the past 10 days.

“They can expect a circus,” Mayor Musselwhite said. “It's going to be wild on Church Road. We already have traffic congestion problems there, so they can expect that.”

Law enforcement couldn’t reveal locations of possible road closures next Tuesday, but you can expect to see them around the airport area in Memphis and into Southaven near the Landers Center.

Mayor Musselwhite said Highway 51 is a possible route to avoid congestion next week.

He also said it’s an honor to host Trump’s first presidential rally in Mississippi.

The event is planned Tuesday, Oct. 2 for 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at this link.

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