PORTSMOUTH – The city car dealership that played host to a President Donald Trump rally in 2016 will be the beginning and endpoint for a “Trump Train” traveling caravan planned for this Sunday.
Toyota of Portsmouth’s parking lot on Greenleaf Avenue will be the gathering site for the event beginning at 9 a.m., encouraging participants to “decorate your cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, and SUVs with outrageous Trump gear, flags, signs, and stickers.” The event is being put on by Southern New Hampshire Trump Events.
“Show off our enthusiasm, patriotism, and support for our favorite President Donald Trump and earn bonus points for triggering liberals along the way,” states the Facebook event page.
Toyota of Portsmouth owner Jim Boyle confirmed organizers approached him about using his property after they met at last week’s Eric Trump event in Portsmouth.
“It’s a 14-acre lot,” Boyle said. “I can use it in any way I want. And these guys felt they needed a safe place to get together. It’s not about my business, it’s about real estate.”
Organizers are advertising a plan to take off in waves of eight to 10 vehicles at a time “to avoid traffic mishaps and parade permit requirements.”
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Portsmouth Police Capt. Michael Maloney said organizers reached out to the department about holding the event. City Manager Karen Conard said her office consulted with the city’s legal department, which confirmed the event would not require a parade permit.
“(The organizer) told me what they’re looking to do. I explained to him they cannot break any traffic laws,” Maloney said. “Everybody who is doing this is subject to all of the applicable traffic laws, wherever you are.”
Maloney said organizers plan to have waves of cars leave in smaller groups.
“They’re free to do what they want to do provided they do it within the confines of all applicable motor vehicle laws and regulations,” he said. “We’re going to monitor it, of course.”
Organizers posted that routes will pass through “liberal enclaves” – naming downtown Portsmouth, Kittery, Eliot, Dover, Durham, Newmarket, Exeter and Hampton – “finishing back at our starting location at Toyota of Portsmouth for an impromptu hangout for the like-minded,” the event states.
Attendees are encouraged to join for a brief award ceremony following the event “for the most over-the-top decorations, trigger factor and enthusiasm.”
Organizers for the Trump event could not be immediately reached.
The state of New Hampshire currently does not have any COVID-19 gathering restrictions.
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