President Trump arrives in Nashville for Hermitage visit, rally - WSMV News 4

President Trump arrives in Nashville for Hermitage visit, rally

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Air Force One landed in Nashville just before 4 p.m. (WSMV) Air Force One landed in Nashville just before 4 p.m. (WSMV)
The president will hold a rally at Nashville Municipal Auditorium Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. (WSMV) The president will hold a rally at Nashville Municipal Auditorium Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. (WSMV)
A sign with profanity was hung from the parking garage across from the rally. (WSMV) A sign with profanity was hung from the parking garage across from the rally. (WSMV)

President Donald Trump has landed in Nashville.

Air Force One landed at Berry Field National Guard Base just before 4 p.m. Wednesday after visiting two cities in Michigan.

There will be a temporary ground stop for all aircraft at the Nashville International Airport, so passengers can expect delays for flights arriving and departing in the afternoon.

After landing, the president's motorcade will leave the base and head a few miles east to Andrew Jackson's Hermitage.

The president will be holding a rally at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville. U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, is also expected to speak at the event.

There's a lot of anticipation about what the president will talk about. Some of the possible topics include his administration's healthcare reform proposal, charter school legislation and the executive order on immigration.

Details about the president's rally

Metro police officers met with safety officials outside the auditorium on Monday. They discussed everything from potential crowd size to protesters to how they will manage security.

The general manager of Municipal Auditorium could not give a ballpark estimate of what the capacity will be for the rally. The auditorium typically holds between 9,400 and 9,700 people for most music events.

Officials said the doors will be closed once the auditorium reaches capacity, which will be determined by fire marshals at the facility.

Doors open for Trump's rally at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The rally is free and open to the public, but guests will need to reserve tickets ahead of time. However, the tickets do not guarantee admission to the event. Guests will be let in on a first-come, first-served basis. ADA seating will be available until the capacity is reached.

Click here to register for tickets.

An official with the Municipal Auditorium said they expect to have two security checkpoints. One would be on 4th Avenue North and Charlotte Avenue. Another checkpoint would be at the front doors of Municipal Auditorium.

The checkpoints will be managed by the TSA, who will operate metal detectors. Identification is not required for entry. Small clutch purses and clear bags no larger than 12" x 6" are allowed. No one will be able to check items inside the auditorium.

Food and beverages will be served until 5:30 p.m., but food is not allowed inside the auditorium. Drinks will have to be poured into cups.

Below is a list of banned items:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Chains or wallet chains
  • Knives or sharp items
  • Fireworks or laser pointers
  • Backpacks, fanny packs or Camelbaks
  • Cans, bottles or outside food
  • Audio/video recording devices
  • Cameras
  • Studded or metallic belts
  • Umbrellas
  • Face masks

The line of outside Municipal Auditorium started at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The dozens of people who stood in line for several hours said it was worth standing in the cold to see the president.

Richard Snowden of Gordonsville, TN, was the first person in line. Snowden has been to about 40 Trump events.

"This is probably the most historic presidential campaign in at least a century, and so to be a part of that and to have met the candidate, now President Trump,  28 times has been a thrill," Snowden said.

Sharon Anderson, the second person in line, drove up from Chattanooga.

"I want to see the president, and I want to get as close as I can because I want to show that we are supporting him," Anderson said. "Everybody that's driven all these miles to see him, we're the same ones that put him in office and want to show him that we're still supporting him and proud of him and glad of what he's doing." 

Click here for a slideshow of the crowd outside the auditorium.

Protesting the president

Several groups will be protesting the president's rally at the auditorium.

Democratic Party supporters will be gathering on the east side of the intersection of 4th Avenue North and James Robertson Parkway at 5:30 p.m. The primary message for many protesters will be saving the Affordable Care Act.

Several negative signs about Trump were hung from parking garage across from the auditorium. A Trump supporter went up there and took them down.

Fisk University students will be holding a walkout protest of the president's visit. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., students will march from the W.E.B. Du Bois statue on campus to the auditorium. Some students will join the rally outside, while others will attempt to go inside. Students from other schools will be participating. 

President will visit The Hermitage

Before the rally, Trump will visit Andrew Jackson's Hermitage. The president is expected to arrive sometime in the afternoon and spend about 90 minutes there.

During his visit, he will lay the presidential wreath on Jackson's tomb to commemorate his 250th birthday. He'll then go on a private tour of the mansion and will wrap up his visit by giving a short speech from the front porch of Jackson's home.

Trump is the 14th president to visit the Hermitage and the first since Ronald Reagan to attend Jackson's birthday ceremony.

A lot of people have compared to Trump to Jackson -- some calling out similarities in their demeanor, representing the anti-establishment and being very controversial. Trump has a portrait of Jackson hanging in the Oval Office.

CEO of The Andrew Jackson Foundation Howard Kittell says he believes the parallels between Trump and Jackson motivated his visit.

"We like to think that the fact that the president was coming on Andrew Jackson's 250th birthday ... that he was coming to Nashville ... wasn't a coincidence. We don't know for sure, but we'd like to think that," Kittell said.

There is already at least one planned protest. A group of Native Americans who call Trump an "Indian hater" are lining up along the route Trump will take to get there. There is no word yet on how many people will be involved.

The Hermitage will be closed to the public all day Wednesday and will reopen Thursday.

Road closures in Nashville

As with any presidential visit, there will be major road closures throughout the day. The president's specific routes will not be released due to security reasons.

Metro police say drivers can expect roads between Nashville International Airport and the Hermitage to be temporarily closed between 3 and 4 p.m. Wednesday. Roads will reopen as the president’s motorcade clears the route.

Roads between the Hermitage and Municipal Auditorium will be closed sometime between 5 and 6 p.m. and will reopen as the motorcade clears the route.

Road closures near the auditorium will begin around noon Wednesday to accommodate thousands of people expected in the area.

Fifth Avenue from Charlotte Avenue to James Robertson Parkway will close at noon. Gay Street between James Robertson Parkway and 5th Avenue will also close at noon. James Robertson Parkway from 3rd to 5th Avenues will close at 3 p.m., or earlier, as crowds arrive.

During the motorcade from the Hermitage to Municipal Auditorium, James Robertson Parkway will be closed between Interstate Drive and Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. It will remain closed until the end of the event.

Presidential motorcade will affect bus service

Music City Central will be closed for most of the day on Wednesday, which will affect anyone who rides a bus.

MTA officials said Music City Central will close at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. Bus service will then transition to 6th Avenue between Korean Veterans Boulevard and Demonbreun Street. Bus bays will be grouped in threes and marked with signs along 6th Avenue.

Officials say riders should expect bus delays on Wednesday because of rolling closures and detours during the president’s visit.

MTA will not be selling tickets on Wednesday. Anyone needing to buy them will need to do so Monday or Tuesday.

Click here for complete information on bus routes for Wednesday.

Wondering which state and local leaders will be attending the president's events? Here's a list:

  • Gov. Bill Haslam will attend the rally.
  • Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is out of town and is unable to attend.
  • Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will attend the event at The Hermitage. She has not received an invitation to greet the president at the airport. She will not attend the rally at Municipal Auditorium.
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph will not attend the rally.
  • U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, will speak at event. Initially, Blackburn said she would be unable to attend.
  • U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN, will be with Trump for events in Nashville.
  • U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-TN, will be in D.C. preparing for Thursday's House Budget Committee markup of the healthcare reform proposal. Her husband will be at The Hermitage in her place.

Stay with Channel 4 and for full coverage of the president's visit to Nashville.

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