Lines of cars gathered outside Liberty Memorial Saturday to proclaim their support for President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign.
Cars adorned with American flags and Trump paraphernalia congregated in a large grassy area behind Liberty Memorial before driving toward the Country Club Plaza.
The event was the first of five car parades supporters of Trump organized in the metro area leading up to Election Day.
Organizers anticipated as many as 2,000 vehicles. The event’s Facebook page suggested people “Bring your flags, signs, and wear your favorite shirt to make Kansas City red.” All were on display on Saturday.
As cars honked at each other, people gathered on the monument to watch the activity.
Ethan Dickson, a 30-year-old from Kansas City, stared at the crowd in awe. He came across the cars on his morning walk and returned later in a tank top adorned with Trump’s photo.
Seeing the crowd, Dickson said he felt love.
“During these times of the pandemic, it’s amazing,” he said.
Dickson said he’s not very involved in politics but believes Trump has done a good job.
Shannon Santachi, another Trump supporter and a Black woman, said she came to show the diversity of Trump’s support.
“You don’t think of Kansas City for having this kind of support for our president,” she said.
As a formation of planes flew overhead, the crowd cheered and the crowd chanted, “U.S.A.”
But the divide between the two political parties was clearly on display at the event. At the corner of Main Street and Memorial Drive, a Trump supporter urged cars to honk, as a counter protester shouted “no justice, no peace” while waving a sign that said “racist president, racist policies.”
Rita Hanch, a counter protester, said she was shocked and a little scared to see the size of the crowd.
She came across the protest by accident but said she planned to stay, sharing her message all afternoon.
As she held her sign that read, “racist president, racist policies,” she said Trump supporters have told her they support her rights and have also yelled demeaning language she’d rather not repeat.
“I sure do get a lot of attention so I think I’m proving my point,” she said.
Shortly after 3 p.m. the parade began moving led by several motorcycles and a van with a Roger Marshall for U.S senate banner
Though police originally said they did not plan to block off streets for the event, a Kansas City Police Department patrol car stopped at the entrance to Memorial Drive from Main Street at 3:30 p.m.
Keith Cheny, from Kansas City, Kansas, said he teared up when he saw the size of the crowd.
“This is what America’s about: freedom,” he said.
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