Updated: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2008, 1:44 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 16 Sep 2008, 10:44 PM EDT
By Marc Thompson
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday in Grand Rapids.
The event will take place at the Ford Fieldhouse on the campus of Grand Rapids Community College. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with the event beginning at 7 p.m. Stay with 24 Hour News 8 and WOODTV.com for complete coverage.
It will be the first town hall meeting in the country for McCain and Palin since they accepted the nominations at the Republican National Convention on September 1.
GRCC officials say the McCain campaign office distributed some 3,500 tickets, including 500 for GRCC students faculty and staff. Classes will go on as scheduled Wednesday.
"I want to commend our fieldhouse staff because it's a lot of work," said Patrick Cwayna Sr., the vice president of College Relations for the college.
Volunteers at the Kent County Republican headquarters are working the phones and making a record number 7,000 calls to supporters.
"Right now we're doing a lot of voter ID work and trying to identify who our voters are and get them out to the polls in November," said Sam Moore, who works at the headquarters.
Buttons, hats, and T-shirts promoting the event are going fast.
As did the tickets.
"Yesterday when we ran out of tickets there were some pretty angry people," said Joan Johnson, a McCain supporter.
Officials with the Grand Rapids Police Department, Kent County Sheriff's Department, State police and Secret Service will be in uniform and plain clothes providing security.
Grand Rapids police encourage the public to take advantage of parking garages, but not near the fieldhouse as current construction, media, and foot traffic will equal congestion.
GRCC officials will hand out parking tickets, as they already have, in anticipation of the event.
Taking no political stand, GRCC organizers say they are honored to host an important event in a closely contested election. And they encourage students to take advantage of history at their doorstep.
"For our students on campus and staff to say, 'I remember when,' this is very significant to our country and we're proud to be a small part of having that happen," said Cwayna.