By The Right-Wing Teen
Donald Trump hosted his first Save America Rally of 2022 on Saturday, January 15… and I was there!
Here’s a look at what it was like to attend a Trump rally, including photos and updates about what happened.
The rally took place at the Country Thunder Festival Grounds at Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence, Arizona. The gates to the festival grounds opened at 8 a.m., with doors opening for the rally at 2 p.m. It was basically in a big wide open grassy field with dirt roads, accessible via a single two-lane road on the outskirts of Florence. On our way there, we passed by several patriotic merchandise vendors at highway pullouts and roadside stands up to 20 miles away.
We got to the festival grounds at 1:00 p.m., and it was bustling with activity. Traffic was being funneled in two directions for quicker parking, but after parking we all met up at the same entrance. The line already stretched for at least a mile across the field and was backing up into the parking area. Disabled and VIP guests had their own close parking place and separate entrance with expedited check-in. A bunch of RVs took up the very first row of parking spaces. I imagine they had camped out there overnight.
As we waited in line, I observed the people around me. There was a diverse variety of nice, regular folks from all walks of life. There were families (a few with babies!), students, veterans, bikers, teachers, small business owners, and many more who had come from all over for the thrill of attending this rally. One lady was from Canada, and there were a lot of visiting snowbirds who spend the winter in Arizona.
Some people were all decked out in red, white, and blue patriotic colors, MAGA hats, or t-shirts with outspoken sayings, while others were dressed normally, and a few were even wearing fancy clothes. Everyone was happy, upbeat, excited, and well-mannered. We only saw one lone vocal protestor who got kicked out.
The festival atmosphere included food trucks with long lines, loudspeakers blaring a mix of country and classic rock, long lines for the porta-potties, and vendors selling shirts, hats, flags, and other memorabilia. The My Pillow people were there, too! Volunteers with clipboards were going down the line gathering signatures on petitions. An RSBN reporter was off to the side interviewing a guy dressed in bright red overalls.
It was supposed to be warm and sunny that day, but it was actually on the cloudy and cool side. Which was probably a good thing, as I may have felt faint from standing out in the sun for so long. We saw one person in the line fall to the ground and the medics came running over, but I don’t know what happened. The lady in front of us was thirsty so we gave her one of our water bottles and she was very thankful.
Almost there! We stood in line for three hours before we finally got to the arena gate. At that point the single long line started zigzagging back and forth. It’s hard to see in this photo, but the line stretched along behind the row of porta-potties on the right, and then curved all the way back to that little mountain which was near where we parked.
A bunch of Secret Service agents were guarding the entrance, which was pretty cool. Once we made it through security and got inside, the atmosphere was jubilant. It was more like attending a rock concert than a political rally. People were genuinely enjoying themselves. Some were dancing to music being played over the loudspeakers. Some who had gotten there early were lounging on picnic blankets. But that didn’t last long because the area filled up fast and before we knew it, it was standing room only.
Starting at 5:00 p.m., guest speakers included Mike Lindell (CEO of My Pillow); Alveda King; Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake; Chair of the Arizona Republican Party Kelli Ward; state lawmakers Sonny Borrelli, Kelly Townsend, Mark Finchem, and Wendy Rogers; and U.S. House members Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Debbie Lesko (she’s my rep!).
We saw Trump’s helicopter fly over and land somewhere behind the stage where there was a big white tent, about an hour and a half before he was due to speak. Anthony Kern, a former Arizona representative who’s running for state Senate, was addressing the crowd saying: “This is our 1776 movement.” Then he began yelling, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as the helicopter descended shortly after 5:30 p.m. “Welcome to Arizona, Mr. President!” he shouted.
I could only catch a quick glimpse of the people on stage if I stood on my tiptoes and managed to get an open spot between people’s heads. I could hardly even see the giant screens, because even they were far away and people’s heads kept bobbing back and forth. But I could hear everything perfectly.
Trump’s speech was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. MST. His speech actually began a bit later than scheduled, at about 7:15 p.m. Trump spoke for an hour and a half about numerous topics including the 2020 election, his presidency, the lying media, Biden’s disastrous administration, the Arizona governor, the border wall, Dr. Anthony Fauci and COVID-19. The crowd could be heard saying “lock him up” at one point, in reference to Fauci. And of course, there was the ubiquitous “Let’s Go Brandon.”
Trump joked that it was hard to read the tele-prompters because the wind was blowing them back and forth. We could see a cloud of dust blowing up, illuminated by the spotlights. Which reminds me, it was super windy that day! It calmed down for a while at sunset, but then it picked back up again after dark. The thought had crossed my mind that this was what they call one of those super-spreader events, as we were packed in like sardines, but on second thought it was so windy that any germs would have blown away instantly.
The Town of Florence Police Department had written on January 13 that they projected an attendance of close to 30,000. But rumors were that it was actually more like 50,000. We heard later that traffic was backed up as far as 25 miles outside the rally venue, and many of the latecomers had to be turned away because the venue was already full.
Trump’s rallies have the best music. As always, Trump’s grand entrance was announced by Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” The rally ended with an old R&B song by Sam and Dave called “Hold on I’m Coming.” Trump’s helicopter left pretty quickly after he was done speaking. He must have left the stage and gone straight to the chopper.
I was surprised at how quickly the crowd cleared out. I was standing in line at the porta-potties, and by the time I turned back around it’s like where did everyone go? Getting out of the parking lot was another matter. It was 9:00 p.m. when took a leisurely walk back to the car. We weren’t expecting to get out anytime soon, so we figured we’d just sit tight and wait for everyone else to leave first, like we do at the 4th of July fireworks. We were happy to just sit in the car for a while after being on our feet for 8 hours.
There was such a traffic jam that not one vehicle in our row had moved an inch in two hours. But once they were able to start moving after 11:00 p.m., they cleared out pretty quickly. Good thing I went to the bathroom before leaving the venue, because there were no porta-potties near the parking area. (Although there were a whole bunch of them sitting out in the middle of a field for no apparent reason.) We looked at our phones, took a little nap, and next thing I know it was midnight and the last cars were leaving. So then we left, too, all rested up for our hour-and-a-half drive home.
Everyone should attend a Trump rally at least once if they can, so you can go down in history and say you were there. It’s amazing how Trump can singlehandedly attract such a huge crowd, full of friendly and enthusiastic people! I think it’s because at a Trump rally, there is a genuine feeling of pride of being an American. It’s like the 4th of July.
Unlike most politicians who beat around the bush, Trump is someone who doesn’t mince words, he really tells it like it is. He’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind, which is often the same things you’re thinking. Even though you may sometimes feel like you’re alone, here you can stand with thousands and thousands of others who feel the same way.
Trump always offers an optimistic view of the future, and he never gives up. A whole year after he’s been out of office, he’s still full of energy and going strong. Nobody’s ever had such a movement like this!
RSBN was there as usual with their full rally coverage. REPLAY HERE. I will have to watch it and see if I can spot myself in any of the footage. If so, I’ll take a screenshot!