Romney Rally: 5 Things To Know Before You Go
Get tips on what you need to have and where to go for the Gov. Mitt Romney campaign rally in Sarasota's Ringling Museum.
Presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney will be in Sarasota for a free campaign rally Thursday, and Patch has prepared five things to know before you go see him.
1. Where do I go?
The rally will be at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art behind the large center courtyard and the Statue of David, so you'll be looking west across Sarasota Bay.
Though volunteers are on hand expected to direct traffic, the Ringling has ample parking, but for large events, the lot fills up fast and some folks will have to park in the grass, which is actually much closer as it's in front of the museum itself.
The crowd will shuffle toward the rear courtyard where barricades and a security line will greet you.
Gates open at 1:30 p.m., and the event begins at 3:30 p.m. Romney is expected to be on site and mingle, putting the event end time around 5 p.m., according to a Romney campaign worker.
Volunteers were expected to report at 11 a.m. at the museum today.
2. What do I need?
To get tickets, call 813-644-2493 or email TeamFL@mittromney.com.
If you do not have a ticket, there will be an opportunity to register on site at the gates to be admitted.
Once you get to the gate, realize that security will be tight. Presidential candidates at this stage are provided Secret Service protection, so the process could take awhile to get to your seat.
No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids or signs will be allowed. Cameras are permitted. It may be wise to pack a lunch or bring a snack while in line. And slap on the sunscreen because the rally is outdoors.
3. How's traffic?
It would be highly recommended to avoid the University Parkway and US 41 area today.
Romney will fly in to arrive at his $2,500-per person fundraiser, which lasts from about 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Traffic delays from a security escort could be possible from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, heading south on Tamiami Trail to The Ritz-Carlton.
It's possible that Romney might not leave right at 1:30 p.m., given that the Ringling event starts at 3:30 p.m., so another motorcade or security escort is possible heading north on Tamiami Trail to the museum between 2 and 3 p.m.
As the event is scheduled to end at 5 p.m., during rush hour, expect heavy traffic coming out of Ringling at that time.
Also, throughout the day protests are expected, which could slow traffic down.
4. Will Paul Ryan or Gov. Rick Scott be there?
Scott is scheduled to be in Tallahassee on Thursday while Ryan is scheduled to be at a Romney-Ryan campaign fundraiser in Washington's Mayflower Hotel.
5. But I just want to go to the Ringling Museum and not to the rally. Is that doable?
Yes. The Ringling Museum will remain open and no closures have been announced. The rally is positioned behind courtyard in a tight area, so it won't interfere with crowds trying to look at the art, but you may hear a crowd cheer and music playing while in the museum. The museum is a part of the Florida State University system.
It was unclear Wednesday evening of the total set up, but it might be possible to stand along the perimeter inside the courtyard and get a view of the rally.