President Donald Trump is continuing his 2020 campaign early with a rally today in Panama City Beach, Florida. The rally started at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m., and is being held at the Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater. The venue was packed with supporters, many of whom lined up 12 hours early just to get a seat. Here’s a look at how many attended the rally, including crowd size photos. The photo above includes a photo from Getty of Trump at the rally, and on the right a photo that Trump shared on his Twitter showing the crowd before his arrival.
Official crowd size estimates are not immediately available, but this story will be updated once they are. (Estimates aren’t always made available, but we will be on the lookout for them.) The venue appeared to be full and at capacity in photos and videos of the event, which could make the crowd numbers around 7,500.
The rally is being held at Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater. According to Panama City Beach Parks and Recreation, the theater has a 7,500 person capacity plus 10 acres of festival lawn. (Interestingly, a story by PCBDaily in 2011, before the theater was built, said the facility would be able to host events with a capacity of 10,000. This number might include the lawn area whereas the earlier number doesn’t, but that’s unclear.)
A listing on Eventseeker notes that the amphitheater itself is mid-sized “with a capacity of 7,500 and surrounded by 10 acres of festival lawns.” So it’s likely that Trump’s rally number estimates, once released, will be near 7,000, at least.
It might be more than 7,500 (the venue’s capacity) if news that so many people showed up that they had to fill overflow spaces is accurate:
The crowd for the rally was immense. People lined up 12 hours before the rally even began.
Kristinn Taylor, who attended the rally in the press area, said that two hours before the rally began, you could already see the crowd forming:
Here’s another look at the crowd at the rally, which appears to be filled to capacity once the rally began:
During the rally, Trump announced $448 million in disaster relief for the Florida Panhandle, after Hurricane Michael devastated the area as a Category 5.
So many people attended that Trump’s speech was also shown on a jumbotron during the rally.
A World War II veteran was among the attendees.
The President’s visit took place during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which the White House launched for people living in hurricane-prone areas.
In a statement released by the White House, Trump said: “My Administration is continuing its efforts to enhance storm tracking and intensity predictions to help save lives and livelihoods by giving communities adequate time to prepare. We are committed to ensuring that the United States will produce the best weather forecasting model in the world.”
Trump spoke about more than hurricane relief. He also spoke about the situation in Venezuela, saying: “What’s happening in Venezuela is disgraceful. No food. No water. Now they are doing so bad…We are being tough, we have no choice.”
Of course, he also mentioned the Mueller report during his rally. “Did you see what just happened? … No collusion, no obstruction, no anything… Two years, almost $40 million dollars, nothing…”
Trump also spoke sarcastically about the Democratic presidential candidates. “We got some real beauties,” he said. “Crazy Bernie and Sleepy Joe… Then there’s Pete Boot-Edge-Edge… Representing us against President Xi of China. That’ll be great. I want to see that.”
The crowd was exuberant, as is typically the case at Trump’s rallies, cheering over his comments and jokes.
This is a developing story.