BURLINGTON, Vt. – On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders will rally with supporters at the Champlain Valley Expo as votes come in from 14 states in the Democratic Primary.
He used the same location in 2016, when he won Vermont decisively and also carried Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
The fairgrounds typically don’t see large crowds in the middle of winter, but its parking lots will be filled with voters, press and security for Sanders’ rally.
It’s good news for Essex Junction businesses as well, particularly those lucky enough to be right next to the fairgrounds.
“We don’t mind it at all because what we have is a lot of exposure for are business,” said Bob Bouchard of Bouchard-Pierce Appliance. “Being next to the fairground has an advantage when there’s a big event.”
Meanwhile, further down Pearl Street, McGillicuddy’s Five Corners is expecting a big bump in business. The rally starts at 7 pm, and they could see a dinner rush in the hours before.
“Typically when they have a big event like tomorrow with Bernie Sanders coming to town, I increase my staff throughout the back of the house, my wait staff and bar staff,” said Manager Jason Forster. “We’re prepared and ready for whoever comes through that door.”
And as for voters, many were seen filing in to Sanders’ Vermont headquarters to buy yard signs and other campaign merchandise. Some traveled from Ohio to attend Tuesday’s rally.
One Burlington voter, Michael Leach, said he’s voting for the first time on Tuesday.
“I’m going to be voting for Bernie,” Leach said. “I registered before, but I just didn’t find anybody that appealing before. This time I’m doing it because I feel like my vote actually matters for the people.”