MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) -City leaders and local business owners in Murphysboro, Illinois are gearing up for President Trump’s visit on Saturday, October 27 and all the foot traffic it will bring.
Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens calls it a “rare occasion".
“I don’t really think you can compare this to anything else when it comes to events in this region," Stephens said. "Frankly before Bill Clinton, the last time a president was in southern Illinois was Ronald Reagan; and I think before that the last item was Harry Truman, so it just doesn’t happen that often.”
Server Elisha Zlotnicki works at Cindy B’s, one of Murphysboro’s longstanding restaurants.
“It definitely boost sales," said Zlotnicki. “And boost customer activity. Anytime you have a big event like this come in to town, just like the eclipse or apple festival or anything like that, you definitely have to be prepared.”
They have to get more staff to help with the rush and have plenty of food, Zlotnicki says.
Assistant Supervisor Ryan Harper of 17th Street Barbecue said they are used to the high volumes.
He confirmed with a picture hanging on the back wall in the restaurant, President Clinton stopped not only in Murphysboro, but also 17th Street BBQ in the 90′s.s door,” he said.
He confirmed with a picture hanging on the back wall in the restaurant, President Clinton stopped not only in Murphysboro, but also 17th Street BBQ in the 1990s.
Harper says they certainly welcome President Trump as well.
“The popularity that comes with having such a public figure in your business, .that would be great for our business and great for the city of Murphysboro," he said.
“I think there will be a lot of people moving through the community and i just hope those people going there for whatever reason, stop and enjoy Murphysboro for what it is," said Mayor Stephens.
The rally will take place at the Southern Illinois Airport.
And it is being staged, in part, to stir up support for Representative Mike Bost, who’s in a tight race for the Illinois 12th District seat with Democratic challenger Brendan Kelly.
Bost and Kelly will go head-to-head in a Debate Tuesday night at SIU.