Excitement Around Lake Harriet Area ahead of Obama Visit

Updated: 06/27/2014 10:22 AM
Created: 06/26/2014 9:15 PM
By: Naomi Pescovitz

Obama spent Thursday night in Bloomington before his next scheduled appearance at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on Friday morning around 11.

About 2,000 tickets were made available; the crowd may be closer to 3,000 people.

Nearby roads and trails will be closed from midnight until noon, and boats won't be allowed on the lake. The bird sanctuary, rose garden, playground and Bread & Pickle restaurant will also close during the president's visit.

"It's always nice to be basically catering to the President of the United States," Bread and Pickle Manager Brad Rowe said.  Bread & Pickle is opening a remote tent in the park during the event. Staff spent Thursday evening preparing food and merchandise for thousands of potential new customers.

"I know that we're putting some stuff together for staff members, some of the secret service. So hopefully if he doesn't stop here afterwards, he at least gets the opportunity to eat some of the stuff we are sending along with them," Rowe said.

On Thursday, several people lined up to pick up last-minute reserved tickets.

"I still can’t believe it, I'm still processing it all," said Lea Porter, a 16-year-old high school student with a ticket to the speech.

"I'm just going to keep an open ear, I don't want to bring anything, I don't want to go in with anything, I just want to keep an open mind," Porter said.

On nearby Queen Avenue, Barb Nicol also has a ticket.

"I am an Obama supporter but I would be excited even if I weren't. This is the President of the United States of America," Nicol said.

Part of Queen Avenue will close during the event with only police escorts in and out for residents. It makes Nicol's back deck home to some of the best seats in the park.

"Now we get to actually see a president in our backyard," Nicol said.

The gates open Friday at 8:30 a.m. Shuttles from the Parade Ice Garden start at 6:45 Friday morning.

Click here for more information about closures around Lake Harriet for the President's visit.

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