Republican convention puts Evansville in the spotlight

Republican convention puts Evansville in the spotlight
Over 1,500 Republicans from around the state are expected in downtown Evansville over the weekend.

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - It's a big weekend ahead for the city of Evansville as thousands are already starting to roll in town for this year's Indiana Republican Party convention.

It's only the second time the GOP convention will take place in a different city other than Indianapolis in recent decades.

We found out local hotels are booked, and restaurant managers expect to be slammed through the weekend.

City officials say it's a good chance to show off the region.

"To the Ford Center, to the convention hotel, to the restaurants, and the private investments the people made, you know, this is what it's about," said Steve Schaefer, Deputy Mayor of Evansville. "It's to showcase the city for visitors to come in, to spend money in our town and come back."

Around 1,700 Republican delegates and other invited guests are expected to be at The Ford Center starting Friday afternoon followed by a series of social events happening through the weekend.

All eyes will be on Downtown Evansville, but some blocks aren't so pretty to look at due to construction sites.

"It's another chance for us to talk about things such as the new med school, the other Regional Cities Initiative project, the parks," Schaefer named a few works in progress city officials are excited about. "It's an opportunity for Evansville to shine."

Even though it seems like there's more dust than shiny new buildings, many say it's a promising sign for things to come.

Hundreds of millions in renovations are happening throughout Downtown Evansville alone.

City officials hope visitors don't mind a little dust on their shoes for now.

"We're very excited to host conventions like this," said Schaefer.

Our team will be providing coverage throughout the weekend.

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