City of Waco expecting 15K to attend Saturday’s Trump rally

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 9:01 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The City of Waco on Thursday announced it is expecting 15,000 people to attend former President Donald J. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally at the Waco Regional Airport on Saturday.

City officials said the Trump campaign has already paid the city in advance for use of the airport at 7909 Karl May Drive, security, and traffic-related costs.

“Donald J. Trump for President 2024, Inc. was billed $60,714.27 for city services. This has been paid,” the city told KWTX.

Road closures and traffic detours will be implemented as an impact on traffic in the China Spring area is expected throughout the day.

The parking area for the event will open at 8 a.m. and entry gates will open at noon. The event is expected to begin at 2 p.m., which is also when China Spring resident Ted Nugent will be performing the “Star Spangled Banner.”

There will be food trucks and restroom facilities for those who attend the standing room only event. Waco city officials said that no chairs would be allowed.

“Organizers have told us no chairs would be allowed in the event interior,” Jonathan Cook, the director of parks & recreation, said in the press conference.

The city said the former president is expected to address supporters at 5 p.m. and the speech will likely last in between 60 and 90 minutes. The rally is expected to end at 7 p.m.

According to city officials, the rally is not expected to impact or delay flights in and out of the Waco airport. Travelers entering the airport will be escorted by police officers, the city said.

Airport passengers are recommended to arrive early and there will be a dedicated route to access the terminal. Airport visitors are to travel on Steinbeck Bend and proceed on Karl May Drive to the airport.

Streets Affected:

• The intersection of Flat Rock Road and Skeet Eason Road will be controlled by law enforcement and for event exit only or access to Airport Park.

• Yankie Road should be used for local traffic to access Flat Rock Road west of Skeet Eason.

• Steinbeck Bend and China Spring Highway/N. 19th Street will be controlled by officers throughout the day, and the signal will be in flash as needed.

“Regular vehicular traffic can avoid this intersection by utilizing Washington Lane and Rock Creek Road. Note: due to construction, Airport Road is limited to northbound traffic only,” said the City of Waco.

Safety was also top of mind as city officials assured the public that multiple agencies and branches of law enforcement were involved to provide as safe an event as possible.

“Personally I feel what this means, to have a large gathering on a national scale, it showcases our ability as a city, as city staff and also different agencies throughout the county and the state, that we come together as a team to provide a safe space for the public,” Cook said.