FREE BUSES AVAILABLE FOR PALIN’S APPEARANCE

Want the best seats Monday to see Sarah Palin at Suplizio Field? Head for the left-field bleachers.

After walking in on a catwalk through a portal in the bleachers along the third-base line parallel to North Avenue, the Republican vice presidential candidate will address the crowd on a platform atop the pitcher’s mound facing the outfield.

Organizers said Saturday night that they expect a crowd of 20,000, half of whom will sit in the C-shaped bleachers while the rest stand in the outfield.

“It’s hard to envision what it’s going to look like,” said Gary Roahrig, who said 11,000 people already have indicated they plan to attend Monday’s 6 p.m. speech.

Free buses to Suplizio Field will begin running at 2 p.m. Monday and won’t interrupt the regular bus service by Grand Valley Transit, said Todd

Hollenbeck, manager for the Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office.

Shuttles will be available from Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50, and Canyon View Park on 24 Road just south of Interstate 70.

Country music star Hank Williams Jr., who is traveling with the John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign, is expected to precede Palin’s speech, but it’s not known how many songs he will sing, Roahrig said.

Crews on Saturday night were en route from Salt Lake City, hauling staging materials, massive televisions and extra lighting to be set up through the night.

Roahrig said organizers also are trying to secure parking for attendees at Teller Arms Shopping Center on North Avenue and at Mesa State College.

North Avenue from 12th Street to 15th Street will be closed, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Roahrig said he expects people to be lining up at 6 a.m. Monday. Attendees are asked to arrive a couple hours early.

“It’s going to be double the size of JUCO during championship night,” Roahrig said, referring to the Junior College World Series, which Grand Junction hosts annually. The championship game usually draws 10,000 to 12,000 people.


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