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Security, limited parking for Trump visit to Huntington today


The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — If you want to see President Donald Trump in Huntington today, there still might be a chance you can get a ticket.

A website was still accepting registrations Wednesday evening for tickets to attend the president’s campaign rally event Thursday evening, Aug. 3, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.

Third District U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) met with President Donald Trump on Air Force One following Trump’s visit to the Boy Scout Jamboree. He returns to Huntington today.
(Submitted photo)

“We do not know the availability of tickets,” a spokesperson with the arena said. “We do know that registrations are still being accepted online.”

“I think they would cut off the registration if tickets were not available, so I don’t think it would hurt to register if you want to attend and they are still accepting them,” he said.

Doors at the arena will open at 4 p.m., with the rally starting at 7 p.m., arena officials said. To register, visit

Here is a rundown of things to know for the president’s visit today:


Bryan Chambers, communications director with the city of Huntington, says parking will be limited due to several street closures and security issues.

“The municipal parking garage at the southwest corner of 8th Street and 3rd Avenue and the two Pullman Square parking garages will be open and available for event parking,” he said. “However, people will be prohibited from using the parking garages as observation points. The municipal parking garage will be accessible from 7th and 8th streets.”

Chambers said the Pullman Square parking garage closest to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena will only be accessible from 9th Street via Veterans Memorial Boulevard until 4 p.m.

“Vehicles will not be able to enter or exit this parking garage from 4 p.m. until after the event,” Chambers said. “The Pullman Square parking garage farthest from the arena will be accessible from 10th Street or 9th Street via Veterans Memorial Boulevard all day. Harris Riverfront Park will not be available for event parking.”


West Virginia State Police Sgt. B.K. Wellman from the Huntington detachment said security preparations are underway, and he advised those attending today’s rally to plan ahead.

“We anticipate a very large crowd,” he said. “There will be lots of roads closed and a large police presence inside and outside the arena and in the general area of the event.”

Wellman said no weapons or items that could be used as weapons are allowed at the event.

“No guns, no knives – anything that could be used as a weapon will not be allowed,” Wellman said.

Wellman said the Secret Service will use metal detectors to screen everyone entering the arena.

“Anyone found to be non-compliant or having anything with them that would be considered a weapon or dangerous will not be allowed inside,” he said.

This comes after the Cabell County sheriff said no charges will be filed against the man accused of threatening armed violence upon protesters who might attend the political rally.

A Facebook user with the name “Dana Capron” said, “If we go then we go armed. Not for the rally, but for the protesters. Let’s give the protesters what they want. Those who ride, then do so and those who can drive do so. Bring everything you have or can bring. We start with anyone blocking the streets then we clear the protesters once and for all, by any means necessary.”

Zerkle said U.S. Secret Service agents interviewed a man suspected of writing the Facebook post and determined the post was not serious enough to warrant charges.

“This was a case investigated by the Secret Service, and we were not involved,” he said.

Zerkle said the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department would be involved with traffic management and security with the presidential motorcade.

Zerkle added that there will be ample security in a space designated for protesters at the event, and he doesn’t think anyone who shows up to protest should feel unsafe.

“There will be lots of security support for the Secret Service, and we believe this will be a safe event for anyone that wants to attend,” he said.


On Wednesday, the Big Sandy Superstore Arena was vandalized with anti-Trump graffiti spray painted across an upper part of the building.

Police have not reported any arrests and Huntington officials referred all media inquiries to the Secret Service office in Charleston or the White House Press Office. Messages left at both numbers were not immediately returned.

Maintenance crews could be seen trying to remove the image from the building Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson with the arena had no comment and also referred all media questions to the Secret Service or White House Press Office.


Trump will return to West Virginia just 10 days after his last visit to the state that gave him his largest margin of victory in November. He visited the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia, on Monday, July 24, where he delivered a speech that many deemed too political for the audience.

“My understanding is this will be a political rally for the president,” Lucas said.

“West Virginia is a state where President Trump feels welcome,” he added. “We have already seen the benefits from the Trump administration with the uptick in coal jobs and production in the first quarter of 2017.”

Lucas said he expects the president to talk about health care, the energy sector and coal in particular and his accomplishments.

“I think those attending will see a campaign-style event,” Lucas said. “Most West Virginians, including myself, continue to support the president and look for more visits in the future as we all continue to make America great again.”

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., who represents the state’s 3rd District, said he is excited to welcome the president to Huntington, which is his hometown.

“I spoke with the president last week and we had a good discussion about issues of importance to our state,” Jenkins said. “I appreciate his commitment to return to West Virginia and look forward to hearing his remarks. I also encourage people who are traveling to Huntington to stop in and join us for a pre-rally event at the Holiday Inn located at 800 3rd Ave. from 2 to 6 p.m., right across from the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.”

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