Manager at Expo Describes Crowd at Romney Rally

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va -- Some people who headed to the Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's rally gave up after getting stuck in traffic.

Amy Brooks and her husband planned to see Romney, but they sat in traffic for two hours instead.

“Very quickly, as soon as we turned onto 64, we were almost immediately stopped by traffic,” said Brooks.

She and her husband got a babysitter for Thursday night's rally, but they ended up parked on Interstate 64, running out of gas. They gave up on getting into the event, but they said all the cars they saw meant support for Romney.

“That was really exciting regardless that we didn't get in. It was a little disappointing, but I was really happy that that many people were coming out.”

Augusta Expo's General Manager John Scott said the facility and staff handled the crowds well.

“The event went off like clockwork. It was really, really well done,” said Scott.

Scott said they do not plan on making changes to the Expo to accommodate larger crowds, but it was the largest crowd he said the Expo's probably ever seen.

It took about a week to set up everything and to tear everything down at the Expo. The general manager said he would hold an event of this magnitude again.

“The combination of politics and entertainment, and yeah, we would certainly do it again; we know we can handle it.”

Brooks said it must have been difficult to gage just how many people would head out.

“We were kind of like, whoa, there's no way we would have gotten in,” said Brooks.

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office said there was nearly 14,000 cars at Thursday night's rally. The sheriff called the traffic jam afterward “a nightmare.”

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