Tens of thousands of people arrive in Wildwood for President Trump rally

Posted: Updated:

Tens of thousands of people descended on Wildwood Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” campaign rally.

Only 7,500 people were allowed inside of the Wildwoods Convention Center, but that did not stop thousands more from coming to the Jersey Shore community both in support of and against the president.

Trump’s rally was so highly anticipated that dozens showed up as early as Saturday evening or Sunday morning so that they could be first on line for a chance to get inside. People lined up for hours, many wrapped in blankets and winter coats since temperatures in Wildwood Tuesday were in the 30s and 40s.

There were some who knew that they weren’t going to get into the rally, but came to Wildwood anyway for the spectacle.

“We do have the tickets. I’ll probably frame them,” said one attendee.

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“We have to work tomorrow, so we’re not getting in line. But we’re just here to see what it is about,” said another.

Some drove to Wildwood from hours away, while others were local Cape May County residents. The mood among supporters was one of camaraderie.

As a beach community, Wildwood typically has a lower population in the winter months. But the rally brought a much-needed boom to the local economy.

Vendors hawked all kinds of memorabilia, from red “Make America Great Again” hats to socks depicting the president, complete with a Trump-like tuft of hair sprouting at calf-height. Bars and restaurants overflowed with patrons wearing hats with the president’s signature slogan.

Trump spoke for just over an hour, and sang praises for New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew. Van Drew made headlines for being New Jersey’s only Democratic representative to vote against impeaching Trump. Soon after, Van Drew officially changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

Trump is the first sitting president to visit Wildwood since Benjamin Harrison in 1891.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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