Updated 4:23 p.m.
With “Proud to be an American,” playing in the background, Donald Trump entered his Ambridge rally this afternoon waving a terrible towel and opened with an anecdote about golfing with Ben Roethlisberger.
Minutes later, Trump said 3,000 or 4,000 people weren’t able to make it inside of the Ambridge Area High School field house, and so he paused during his speech to ask the fire marshal to let more people in.
The line wrapped around the corner as the rally started, and a screen was set up outside to accommodate the large crowd.
“I’m better off right here,” said Pam Huppenthal from a porch across from the high school. She said she would have liked to attend, but decided she could see more from her in-laws’ porch. “It’s the best seat,” she said.
Supporters and protesters traded chants in the hours before the rally as vendors with t-shirts and buttons walked up and down the street.
Trump’s appearance comes one day after the second presidential debate and less than a week after the release of a video in which the Republican brags about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
His event is taking place at Ambridge Area High School’s field house, about 30 minutes from Pittsburgh. The Beaver County school dismissed middle and high school students at 11 a.m. and elementary students at noon.
Hundreds of Trump supporters lined up this morning to see Trump speak. By 1 p.m. they were moving — slowly — into the venue.
Counter-protests are ongoing and were expected, as The Incline‘s MJ Slaby reported.
The yellow lines down Duss Avenue are acting as a barrier, with Hillary supporters on one side and the line of Trump devotees on the other. The two sides are tossing taunts and chants back and forth and yelling over each other.
Below, see photos and video from the scene by Slaby and The Incline‘s Jasmine Goldband, as well as from other reporters. We’ll keep updating throughout the day.