Home Featured News Hours before the 7 p.m. MAGA rally

Hours before the 7 p.m. MAGA rally

A crowd gathered around the Van Andel Arena to get into the rally ahead of the 7 p.m. speech. (Jack Hervela/The Collegiate)

The line for the Trump Rally at Van Andel Arena is growing by the minute in anticipation of the president’s arrival to Grand Rapids.

First in line, firing up hot dogs and leading in American spirit exercises, was a woman who declined to give her name from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having camped out all night, she was excited for her seventh Donald Trump rally in light of the recent Mueller report.

“Now that the nonsense is over with no collusion, we all knew it was a hoax,” she said. “My problem is, you convict before you know anything, and it’s on both sides. Everyone has to just wait. It’s been two years, it’s frustrating yah with all the nonsense, ‘Oh we have proof,’ that’s…crap, and clearly, we were right.”

Farther back was a Second Amendment advocate – clear on his position – who did not want to give his name.

“Antifa (short for “Anti-fascist), you come near me, you come near my house, I’ll shoot you!,” the man said. “We’re here for the president, nothing getting between that.”

Along the line outside of Van Andel Arena, several vendors were camped out. The majority of the vendors buy their products in bulk, normally off of Ebay or wholesale, then resell them at political events like these. Some vendors create their own t-shirt designs to sell.

For some of the vendors, selling at rallies is purely business, but others fully support Trump and enjoy the camaraderie between fellow supporters.

Gary Herman, of El Paso, Texas is a Trump supporter and vendor who spoke about the difference between the previous rallies he’s been to in Texas and today’s rally in Grand Rapids.

“It’s very peaceful here,” Herman said. “Very friendly, it’s completely different here in Grand Rapids.”

The line continues to grow outside of Van Andel Arena as Trump’s arrival gets closer. By 4 p.m. the line stretched out to the Downtown Market, located at 435 Ionia Ave., nearly a mile away from the arena.

Collegiate reporter Jack Hervela contributed to this report.

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