National City prepares for Bernie Sanders rally

Posted at 11:06 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 02:06:04-04

National City is preparing to feel the Bern. Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders is scheduled to speak in Kimball Park Saturday night at 7:30.

“The Secret Service are going to take over the park basically,” said National City Mayor Ron Morrison.

Mayor Morrison said Kimball Park, which is right behind City Hall, would be closed Friday to prepare for the Senator’s arrival. A fence will be put up around the park and it won’t be opened to the public until 4:30 Saturday afternoon. Sanders is expected to address the gathered crowd for an hour beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Morrison warned patience would be key. Parking is extremely limited.

A Sanders campaign press release said entrance to Kimball Park would be on a first-come, first-served basis.  The release also told people to leave bags, weapons, chairs, tents, signs, and banners at home. They will not be allowed through security. The release suggested attendees limit what they carry to keys and wallet.

This is the first time in 24 years that a presidential candidate has visited National City. Then-Governor Bill Clinton spoke in Kimball Park in 1992. Prior to that, Senator Robert Kennedy spoke off the back of a truck in National City in 1968.

The Sanders rally will not cost National City any money. The campaign will pay for everything, according to Mayor Morrison.