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Organizers scrambling to launch Home Improvement Show at Metra after Trump rally

Posted at 4:05 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 18:58:13-04

BILLINGS – The annual Home Improvement Show is set to begin at the MetraPark Expo Center in Billings starting on Friday.

This year, the vendors will have to put the hustle on, since access to the venue will be limited on Thursday, due to President Trump’s scheduled rally.

Promoter Mark Hedin said Thursday is often the day that vendors do the bulk of their set up. Initially, they were told the Secret Service would need everybody out of the building by noon on Thursday for their security sweep.

Hedin said he found out around noon Tuesday that the staff at MetraPark were able to secure extra time for them at the venue. They now will have until 3 p.m. to set up, before they have to be out of the Expo Center.

Hedin said the most difficult part has been not knowing, and getting the word out to approximately 450 vendors.

“Thank goodness for emails and for texting,” said Hedin. “Unfortunately, not everybody reads their emails or their texts, so I know because of this we are going to have some confusion on Thursday. I do want to say, everyone is working hand in hand in trying to get this pulled off, and 10 years from now we will be able to joke about it.”

The winter Home Improvement Show runs from Sept. 7-9.

Related: MetraPark announces parking restrictions for upcoming Trump rally

Reporting by Samantha Harrelson for MTN News