By TAYLOR STUCK
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Several roads and areas will be closed off Thursday, Aug. 3, as Huntington prepares for the arrival of President Donald Trump for a campaign rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Roads in the immediate vicinity of the arena will close at noon Thursday. There will be additional intermittent road closures during the president’s visit. Motorists who need to get to Ohio on Thursday afternoon are strongly encouraged to use the 31st Street Bridge or 17th Street West Bridge rather than the bridge downtown.
Doors to the arena will open at 4 p.m., with the rally starting at 7 p.m. Attendees are asked to arrive as early as possible to avoid traffic congestion. Tickets, which are free but required, are available for those who want to attend the rally. To register, visit https://www.donaldjtrump.com/rallies/huntington-wv/.
The municipal parking garage will be accessible from 7th and 8th streets.
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. The Pullman Square parking garage farthest from the arena will be accessible from 10th Street or 9th Street via Veterans Memorial Boulevard until 4 p.m.
Harris Riverfront Park will not be available for event parking.
Third Avenue between 9th and 10th streets also will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at noon Thursday to accommodate protest groups. This area is one block from the arena. Although this area has been designated for protesters, the city will not prohibit the expression of one’s First Amendment rights in any area where the general public is allowed.
A coalition of 13 citizen action groups say they have joined together to protest Trump’s policies. This group worked with the city of Huntington and the Huntington Police Department to secure the area between 9th and 10th streets.
Coalition sponsors include Women’s March West Virginia: Huntington Huddle, For Ohio’s Future, March for Science Huntington, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Rise Up WV, Service Employees International Union District 1199, Summers County Huddle, Tri State Indivisible, West Virginia Citizen Action Group, West Virginia Indivisible, West Virginia Progressive Alliance and Wood County Indivisible.
Speakers representing groups participating in the “Stand up for American Rights” protest will begin Facebook Live commentary at 4:30 p.m. at the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and 9th Street.
The Pullman Square summer concert series scheduled for Thursday has been pushed back to Friday, Aug. 4.
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