DEFIANCE, OH (Toledo News Now) - Republican nominee for president and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney visited Defiance Thursday.
It took over two and a half hours for all of the people to get through security, through the gate and into the Defiance High School stadium. The event "Musicians for Mitt" was hosted by John Rich of country music group Big and Rich.
Romney was supported by some big names such as Meatloaf, John Rich and Big Kenny (Big and Rich) and Randy Owen from Alabama.
Romney to rally at Defiance football stadium
Doors will open around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, with Romney scheduled to begin speaking at 7:35.
"I'm looking forward [to it]. I've been promised that I'll get to shake hands with the governor. I'm looking forward to it. He's a celebrity. He could be our next president and honestly, it's a real opportunity for a small town mayor," said Armstrong.
The Romney campaign rented out the Defiance High School football stadium.
"I think what candidates are seeing is that you better grab a hold of these small communities that really are the fabric of America, and we are the people that are the decision makers and we really are the pulse of what is across America, and I think it shows them that we're good people and we make good decisions," said principal Robert Morton.
Morton said this is a great opportunity for students to see firsthand how the election process works.
"Educationally, they get to see something that, you know, the number one freedom that we have, is the ability to vote and select our leader, and the leader of the free world. And I think the opportunity for them to see a candidate spend time in their community, and I think it shows them the importance of their small community and particularly, what it means to the election of a president," explained Morton.
Country music singers John Rich, of Big and Rich, and Randy Owen will be there.
A pre-rally event took place there Wednesday, in which 100 people received VIP tickets for a chance to meet Romney up close and personal.
Organizers expect big turnout
Campaign organizers expect the rally to be huge, issuing 14,000 tickets for the event. Those seeking tickets should go to the GOP headquarters at 106 Clinton Street in Defiance. Interested individuals will need to provide an ID and e-mail address, then print off their tickets once received via e-mail.
Tickets can also be obtained on Mitt Romney's website.
While crews build the stage where Romney will be speaking, local law enforcement is preparing for a large crowd, including those who might be showing up to protest.
Romney campaigns all over Buckeye State
Defiance is not the only stop for Romney Thursday. Earlier at a parts manufacturing facility in Cincinnati, he explained to a crowd the fundamental difference between his path and the president's.
"Our campaign is about big things because we happen to believe that America faces big challenges. We recognize that this is a year with a big choice and Americans want to see big changes, and I am going to bring it to this country," said Romney.
The head of the Defiance County Republican Party said there are many other factors for voters to consider, such as jobs, which he believes Romney cares about most.
Romney said President Obama has not been able to define what he is going to do to make America strong going forward.
Stay with Toledo News Now for details leading up to Romney's visit and complete coverage of the event Thursday.
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