DES MOINES, Iowa — Thursday night, President Donald Trump is set to host a Keep America Great rally at Drake University. This will be his first appearance in Iowa in the new year.
This event doesn’t start until 7:00 p.m. but dozens of supporters have been camping outside of the Knapp Center since Wednesday. The Knapp Center holds 7,000 people and Drake is expecting to hit capacity for the event.
Communication Director Jarad Bernstein, said this is not the first big event Drake has had on campus this caucus cycle nor is this the first sitting president that’s come to the Bulldogs' campus. He said Drake is more than ready for Thursday night’s rally.
According to Bernstein, Drake always has a team set to deal with political events of this magnitude. Drake’s Public Safety Department has also been working closely with the Secret Service and Des Moines Police to make sure everyone that comes to campus is safe and secure.
There is currently a Facebook event for a Trump counter-protest that will be hosted across the street from the Knapp Center. It will start a little while before the president is set to take the stage at 7:00 p.m. Drake is hoping all parties remain peaceful.
“We’ve been told to expect a very friendly crowd. Regardless we’re prepared for anything. We have an area set up on Forest Avenue in front of the Knapp Center right now where people are already lining up,” Bernstein said. “We just want to make sure everyone is safe out there.”
Doors open at 3:00 p.m. and the rally will start at 7:00 p.m.
Parking is limited but two parking lots on the Drake campus are available for those going to the rally. Lot 1, at the intersection of 24th and Carpenter St., and Lot 29, at the intersection of University Avenue and 29th St. Parking will be free in both lots.
Road closures include:
- Forest Ave. from 24th to 25th St.
- 25th St. between Carpenter Ave. and Clark St.
- 27th St. between Forest Ave. and College Ave.
- Clark St. between 24th and 27th St.