Created on Monday, 17 October 2011 15:51
|Obama's motorcade cruises down King Street Monday afternoon, flanked by the Secret Service. Obama was en route to a speech in Wilkes County when he stopped in Boone. Photo: Olivia Wilkes | The Appalachian |
President Obama surprised the town of Boone with a visit Monday around 3:30 p.m.
“The Secret Service has a thing about secrecy, so we had no idea he was coming until 1:00,” said Chris Turner, director of transportation for AppalCART.
The president was on his way to deliver a speech in Wilkesboro later in the day and stopped on King Street with his motorcade – making stops at Mast General Store and Anna Banana’s on the way.
More images...Senior electronic media broadcasting major Collincia Rouse described seeing the president as an “amazing” experience. She was on her way to class when she noticed the Secret Service milling through King Street.
“It was one of the things I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Rouse said. “Obama drove up in his van and looked directly at me.”
Rouse said she believes Obama visited Boone because the town is so democratic and was extremely active in the 2008 election. She said his brief visit was “awesome” for the town.
“Boone doesn’t really get much recognition outside of football, so to have the president come is pretty awesome,” she said.
Freshman undecided major Curtis Holmes said he had no idea President Obama was stopping through.
“I was just coming to get a pack of cigarettes and had no idea he was going to be here,” he said.
Holmes said he was in awe that President Obama would stop in Boone.
“I don’t really know why he would be in such a small town,” he said.
Jordan Campbell lives near Clemson, S.C. and was touring Appalachian for the day. She said she was eating lunch with her mom when she noticed everyone running to see the president.
“It was pretty surreal,” Campbell said. “I mean it is Obama, and he was just randomly driving through while I’m here.”
After hearing about Obama’s upcoming arrival, AppalCART chose to shut down some routes until 4 p.m. Ultimately, the routes reopened before then.
“We’re fortunate that the president doesn’t come by that often, but it was nice to accommodate him,” Turner said.
STORY: ANNE BUIE, Senior News Reporter and KELLI STRAKA, Senior News Reporter