Preparations underway for Romney's Port St. Lucie visit

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) - Fresh off of a busy week of campaigning, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney prepares to make a stop along the Treasure Coast for a rally in Port St. Lucie on Sunday.

The "Victory Rally with Mitt Romney, Port St. Lucie" event is put campaign crews into overdrive on Saturday as workers fought against the clock to prepare Tradition Square for crowds.

"I'm wondering if there's going to be enough room?" said Cindy Mulleady, a Tradition resident. "I think we're going to have a much bigger turnout."

The Romney campaign on Saturday said with many roads and lots closed, they are hoping attendees arrive early, well before the slotted 2:45 p.m. start time. A spokesperson said organizers are preparing for 5,000-to-10,000 people.

"We haven't had that kind of people here in a long time, we're looking forward to it," said Kate Labonte, owner of Kilwin's Chocolate and Ice Cream shop in Tradition Square.

Labonte expects to see a line out of the door at her shop. She said it would be a much needed change in pace especially since the announcement of the Digital Domain layoffs.

"That was a depressing day, it was a really sad day around here and definitely him coming is uplifting a lot of people because we have been so down," said Labonte.

Some questioned the impact of the rain that could fall on Sunday. A soggy forecast for an outdoor event could spell trouble and mud.

"If they see the weather is like this, they're probably going to bring rain gear, but I don't think it's going to keep them home. I don't know of anyone melting from the rain, not since the Wizard of Oz," said Bill Paterson, chairman of the Republican Party of St. Lucie County

Paterson said people flooded his phone and email inbox all day on Saturday. He expects that interest to translate into a packed rally no matter the weather.

Organizers said they expect to open gates starting at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Attendees must RSVP and have a ticket to get inside. 

Tickets? Free from