MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Supporters of President Donald Trump began lining up in downtown Minneapolis Thursday morning, hours ahead of the evening rally at Target Center.

Groups of supporters, some of which had arrived downtown Wednesday night, could be seen near the arena, some lined up in the Skyway and others in the street, waving Trump flags in the morning rain.

The president is expected to arrive in Minnesota at 5:45 p.m. with the rally slated to start at 7 p.m. Thousands are expected to attend the rally or protest outside.

Motorists should expect increased traffic downtown due to closed roads and the influx of people. The road closures include parts of First and Second avenues and the ramp from Interstate 394 to 6th Street North.

On Thursday morning, no protesters were seen gathered downtown. However, a giant balloon depicting Trump as a baby was seen on top of First Avenue, the iconic Minneapolis club across the street from Target Center.

Trump’s visit to Minneapolis comes following a number of local controversies, including a Twitter spat between the president and Mayor Jacob Frey and a dispute between the police union and city leaders over officers attending the rally in uniform.

In recent months, Trump has predicted several times that he’ll win Minnesota in 2020. He has repeatedly attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minneapolis, branding her and other progressive congresswomen of color as the new faces of Democratic politics.

In 2016, Trump narrowly lost Minnesota to Democrat Hillary Clinton. Minnesota has not voted red since 1972.