WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Normally quiet Wildwood, New Jersey is out of hibernation for President Donald Trump’s historic visit Tuesday. Trump fans and protesters are already making their voices heard.
Duke Reale, from Galloway Township, is so determined to see President Trump in Wildwood that he arrived two days early so he could be first in line. Soon, dozens showed up right beside him.
“These people are amazing, I’m telling you. They all love the president, we’re proud of this country and we’re here to support Jeff Van Drew,” Reale said.
By Monday afternoon, hundreds of Trump supporters started lining up, ready to spend a night out in the cold to get into the Keep America Great Rally.
“Everybody’s adrenaline is flowing and everybody is extremely positive and we’re having a great time,” said Adela Beecher, of Sea Girt.
The supporters Eyewitness News spoke with were unfazed by the impeachment trial into President Trump.
“I think what they’re trying to do is trying to smear his image. I don’t think they’re really trying to get him out of office. I think they’re just trying to smear his image,” said Doug Herrin, of East Windsor.
“We didn’t know what to expect and it’s just very nice to be with people that think the same way you do, feel the same way do about the country,” Monmouth County resident Debbie Hettmann said.
But not everyone coming to Wildwood feels the same way.
Shayla Woolfort, from the progressive group Cape May County Indivisible, has a permit to hold a counter-Trump rally Tuesday in a parking lot a few blocks down the boardwalk from the Wildwoods Convention Center.
“We’re just really trying to project a united grassroots force against the Trump administration and his hateful rhetoric — the corruption, the misogyny, the racism,” Woolfort said.
Protesters and Trump supporters have been warned not to bring items to their rallies that could be used as weapons.
Wildwood officials say security for the event will be tight, and they hope the president’s visit will be an overall positive opportunity for the shore town.
“This is the last week of January and typically all we have here is a lot of seagulls and locals,” Mayor Pete Byron said.
But this week will be anything but quiet.
Eyewitness News spotted some vendors who came from Phoenix, Arizona to sell their presidential swag. Julian Conradson says this is the longest line he’s seen ahead of a Trump rally in quite some time.
“There will usually be a line probably 50 to 100 people, not usually like this. The only time I’ve ever seen it like this was in Dallas,” he said.
Click here to see a list of items that will not be allowed at the convention center.
CBS3’s Cleve Bryan and Kimberly Davis contributed to this report.