MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Businesses around Target Center are bracing for the big crowds that President Donald Trump’s rally on Thursday will bring to downtown Minneapolis. Many are embracing the crowds, but some restaurants in the area are choosing to close and other events have been canceled.
The Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, which finances legal counsel for children in foster care, is delaying their gala — their biggest fundraiser of the year. It was originally planned for Thursday at IDS Center.
“It is incredibly disappointing,” said executive director Lilia Panteleeva. “We have been working on this gala for almost a year.”
She says she made the call to cancel and reschedule after talking to Minneapolis police, who told her what to expect downtown on Thursday night.
“Anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 people, perhaps for protests, and then the unknowns of people perhaps marching and having to close streets as a result,” Panteleeva said.
The gala has been reschedule for Tuesday, November 19. Panteleeva says some people who originally RSVP’d are unable to attend now because of the date change.
“We are a little bit nervous that our turnout will be less than what we originally planned for,” Panteleeva said.
She also said they’ve lost money in the rescheduling process, including re-printing and re-mailing new invitations, and having to eat the cost of silent auction items that expire before the new gala date. Click here to donate to the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota. Their silent auction is also virtual, so you can bid on items here.
All the bars and restaurants around Target Center are responding differently to this rally being in their back yard.
“We’re so excited to have the ‘Trump Baby’ on the roof,” said John Moore, one of the owners at The Saloon on Hennepin Avenue.
They financed an inflatable balloon of President Trump — similar to the one seen in protests in the United Kingdom this summer — via a GoFundMe CrowdRise account. The funds were raised by 151 people in four days.
“It just gives us an opportunity to take a stand to say, ‘What’s going on isn’t right,’” Moore said.
Safety is also a concern for The Saloon.
“We’re going to have more security than normal inside and out,” Moore said.
Meanwhile, City Works restaurant says they are closing Thursday. Fogo De Ciao says they will operate as usual, but will bring in more staff to accommodate the big crowds.