TAMPA (FOX 13) - President Trump is getting ready to head to Tampa for his first political event in the area since taking office. The final preps are underway for his visit, which will include a rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds and a visit to a nearby technical school
From past events, we know it is going to be packed. The earlier you arrive, the better. Some fans of the president have been camping out since Monday night; they were let inside the fairgrounds at 10 a.m. -- a full nine hours before the rally's planned start time.
"I think it's great that he's coming back to Florida," Rene Teague and Diane Finer offered. "We're just here to give him our support to let him know that we the people have never been more proud to have Donald J. Trump as our president."
Tuesday night's rally will be the 36th the president has held in the state. He's expected to tout the economy, his Supreme Court nominee, and stump for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis.
Before the rally, President Trump will visit Tampa Bay Technical High School, where he'll take part in a roundtable discussion on workforce development.
You can expect more visits in the future, according to Jim Waurishuk, the Hillsborough County GOP chairman.
"Part of my goal since becoming chairman is, let's try to get the president here as much as we can between now and 2020."
On the eve of the event, we met a woman who just might be the president's biggest fan in Tampa Bay.
"The first day I saw Trump down the escalator, I knew I was going to vote for him," said Penny Jones. "I admire him, I respect him, I cherish him."
Inside her Clearwater condo, she's got the books, the statues, even a signed photo from President Trump. When Jones heard he was coming to town, she made shirts, selling about 100 so far.
"Penny's Trump Train shirt," she said, showing off. "And, it says 'Next Stop: Great America.'"
Jones is determined to be among the first in line for the rally. In fact, she booked a room at a hotel across the street from the site so she can wake up and walk right to the line.
"I'm excited!" Jones exclaimed. "I can't tell you, really how excited I am to see Trump!"
Jones has all the essentials packed. "I've got protein bars, I have necklaces for my friends to wear, a portable umbrella in case it rains, of course, I have my 'Make America Great Again' hat," Jones said as she put it on.
She plans to be among the loudest voices, cheering the president on. "You're hugging people you don't even know, it's beautiful, it's like a spiritual experience, it really is, it's beautiful."
Despite great enthusiasm among the president's supporters, protestors plan to make their voices heard outside the rally. Monday night, they gathered in Tampa to make signs with messages like, "Lock him up" and "Vote them out." Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jeff Greene plans to join the protestors as well.
Tuesday night's rally begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking gates open at 1 p.m. at both MLK and U.S. 301. It's $6, cash only. The gates to Expo Hall are set to open at 4 p.m.
There's a list of items, from balloons to chairs to noisemakers, that may not be brought inside the Expo Hall. You can find the details at the Florida State Fair's website.