Big crowd expected to attend Palin rally

Cathleen Allison/Nevada AppealBrett Beanan sets up lighting at the Pony Express Pavilion on Friday in preparation for today's visit from vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Cathleen Allison/Nevada AppealBrett Beanan sets up lighting at the Pony Express Pavilion on Friday in preparation for today's visit from vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The John McCain campaign is preparing for a big crowd today in Carson City to see GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the Pony Express Pavilion.

Rick Gorka, regional communications director for the McCain campaign, said there were already 4,000 RSVPs as of Friday morning.

"I'm sure we'll have people lining up at eight, nine o'clock in the morning to get in there," Gorka said. There are no tickets required to attend.

The Carson City event will be Gov. Palin's only Nevada appearance on this trip. She is flying into Reno after attending a rally in Anchorage, and will travel on to Colorado for campaign events tomorrow.

She is expected to take the stage at around 6 p.m., after speeches by other GOP figures, including Congressman Dean Heller and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki. Because of security, the doors for the event open at 2 p.m.

Gorka urged the public not bring a lot of bags, chairs or other items that may slow down the security screening. Small cameras are allowed, but larger photo and video equipment may require extra security inspections by the Secret Service.

Gorka said they welcome people from all political persuasions to attend. He also said that signs will be allowed into the event, even if they don't support the McCain/Palin ticket.

"I'm not going to go through and pull down signs, as long as they aren't disrespectful," Gorka said.

Palin will speak on the same themes she has voiced at campaign stops since her appearance at the GOP National Convention in St. Paul on Sept. 3. In contrast to McCain's town hall campaign events, Palin will not be taking any questions from the public or doing any media interviews.

The presidential campaigns are paying close attention to Nevada this year, as the polls show a dead heat, according to Gorka.

"Clark County is a tough spot. Bush didn't win it in 2000 or 2004, so we have to win Washoe and run up the score in rural Nevada," he said.

The McCain campaign has arranged for overflow parking at Carson High School, with shuttle buses to ferry people over to the Pavilion. They have also arranged for portable toilets to handle the large crowd.

Gorka also said they were setting up LCD screens outside of the event so the overflow crowd can view the event.

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