Free tickets given to public first-come first-serve

People stand in line in the hot sun for a chance to see President Obama

July 22, 2013 Updated Jul 22, 2013 at 9:31 PM CDT

Central Illinois is preparing for a presidential visit, as President Barack Obama embarks on a multi-state campaign style tour to discuss the economy.

The first stop of that tour is Knox College in Galesburg, where eight years ago - the then U.S. Senator - laid out his economic vision on a national stage.

Limited numbers of free public tickets to the President's Speech were distributed early Monday afternoon.

Hundreds braved the hot temperatures for their chance to see the President.

As a little girl exited the communications building at Knox College Monday with an Obama ticket in hand, someone shouted to her, " Who ya comin' to see?"

The little girl proudly shouted, "Obama!"

And she certainly wasn't the only one. Nearly 500 were in line.

Each person got a number... And tickets were first-come first-serve.

Free tickets to the public were given out at 1 p.m., but the line starting forming long before that. The first person in line was Laura Fultf of Galesburg. She was at the door at 7 a.m.

Fultf voted for Obama, but she's worried about the economy.
" I would love to be working instead of sitting home and doing nothing," she said. "I'm also very worried about Social Security and Medicare."

Right behind her was Michael Ramos, an elementary school student who brought along his award from the President for academic excellence.

" I worked very hard this year," he said. He is hoping to meet Mr. Obama and then show him the award.

All people who arrived were given a number. By noon, about 500 numbers had been passed out.

Debra Grey-Gibson of Galesburg was number 167. "I just love the fact that he comes to Galesburg," she said. "I mean he recognizes this small town and everything we've gone through. You know, with the economy, losing the factories, It seems like we're trying to restart."

Behind the scenes here, it took a lot of work to coordinate all of this.

Megan Scott is the chief communication officer at Knox. She said,
"People are very happy to put in all the work because it's the president and we want to make this event a success and make Knox College shine on this day."

And at one o'clock, our first person in line Laura Fultf walked out of the communication smiling and shouting, "Obama! I'm going to see Obama! "

Later in the day, Knox College says that most people who waited in line to get a ticket got one.

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