Vanderburgh County prepares for Sarah Palin - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Vanderburgh County prepares for Sarah Palin

By Gretchen Ross - bio | email

VANDERBURGH COUNTY, IN (WFIE) - Vanderburgh County makes last minute preparations for the visit of former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Thursday night, close to 5,000 people are expected to show up at the Centre for the annual Right to Live Banquet to get a glimpse of Sarah Palin, but before the doors can open, dozens of volunteers as well as local security must do a walk-through to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

Before Alaska Governor Sarah Palin takes the stage at the Centre Thursday night, first time volunteer and fellow hockey mom Holli Sullivan put the final touches on the banquet room.

"My three year old and I are here and we just different things to each table, and placed the center pieces where they needed to go and make sure all the details came together," Sullivan said.

Vanderburgh County Right To Life Director Mary Ellen Van Dyke said planning for the event started a year ago. They've enlisted the help of over 100 volunteers. With the majority of the legwork now done, Van Dyke said it's time to focus on the technical details.

"All the staging is being done," Van Dyke said. "The microphones are being set. Anything that has to do with sound and laying cable."

Although she remains tightlipped about when and where Governor Palin will arrive, Van Dyke said Palin's husband Todd and son Trig are traveling with her. Vandyke and her team will rely on local law enforcement for security.

"We are probably going to be 5 or 6 fold the number we would normally have for a banquet this size," Vanderburgh County Sheriff's office Sergeant Robert Goedde. "Our goal is provide a safe and secure environment for the governor and Michael Steele and for people there attending the banquet."

Goedde expects to see both sheriff's deputies as well as EPD officers taking tickets, monitoring the banquet as well as the auditorium where a live feed of the event has been set up for the overflow crowd.

"If someone attending sees something like suspicious behavior or something possibly dangerous notify a uniformed officer," Goedde said.

The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. with republican party chair Michael Steele speaking first. Seats to watch the event from the auditorium are still available and are $16.

©2009 WFIE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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