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Obama to land in Minnesota; parks, roads close

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President Obama’s stops at two popular Minneapolis parks Thursday and Friday will create some parking and traffic restrictions (details below). The president is scheduled to host an invitation-only town hall meeting Thursday at Minnehaha Park, and will speak on economic policy Friday morning at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.

The Lake Harriet event is open to the public, and some 2,000 people waited in line beginning early Wednesday to get a free ticket to attend.

Air Force One is scheduled to arrive at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at 12:25 p.m. Central time, the White House says.

From a White House photographer this morning:

During his visit, Obama will also attend a fundraiser for the congressional campaign arm of House Democrats Thursday night.

The Minnesota trip also serves as the launch of a series of trips Obama plans to make across the nation in an effort to connect with ordinary Americans and meet people who have written him about their economic struggles.

The Hill, a Washington newspaper that covers Congress, writes that the summer "campaign-style travel" will feature tours of local communities and town-hall meetings on domestic-agenda topics.

In Minnesota, Obama plans to meet with a Twin Cities mother whose letter inspired him to start the “day-in-the-life” visits around the country to bolster the middle class. The woman, now identified as Rebekah Erler, a 36-year-old accountant from St. Anthony, wrote a particularly poignant letter that made its way into the pile of 10 letters from citizens that Obama reads every night, the Star Tribune reports.

Both Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar had planned to board Air Force One for the Thursday trip with Obama to Minnesota, but a Senate vote held them up, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota senators said they intended to talk to the president on the plane about flooding in the state.

Parking/traffic

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has announced traffic and parking restrictions for both the Minnehaha and Lake Harriet events.

MINNEHAHA PARK, THURSDAY JUNE 26: 

Parking restrictions begin at midnight Thursday morning
No parking within Minnehaha Park, including all parking lots and metered parking spaces.

These roads will be closed beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday

– Godfrey Parkway
– Minnehaha Parkway: 39th Ave. So. to roundabout at Godfrey Parkway
– Minnehaha Avenue: E 46th St. to roundabout at Godfrey Parkway
– Minnehaha Park Drive: to E 54th St.

These facilities at Minnehaha Park will close beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday

– All pedestrian and bike trails
– Minnehaha Dog Park
– Minnehaha Park north plateau playground
– Minnehaha Refectory (park building), Sea Salt
– Longfellow House/Longfellow Garden
– Minnehaha Falls

Access to the Veterans Home will only be allowed via 46th Avenue.

All roads and facilities will reopen following the event.

LAKE HARRIET BANDSHELL, FRIDAY, JUNE 27:

Lake Harriet boat launch closes at 10 p.m., Wednesday, June 25

Parking restrictions begin at midnight Friday morning

No parking in lots or along the streets noted below:

– Lake Harriet Parkway: Roseway Road to W 44th Street on west side of lake
– Roseway Road: Kings Highway to Lake Harriet Parkway
– William Berry Parkway
– Queen Avenue: W 40th Street to W 42nd Street
– W 42nd Street: Linden Hills Blvd to Lake Harriet Parkway

No street parking on:

– Linden Hills Blvd: W 40th Street to W 42nd Street
– W 40th Street: Linden Hills Blvd to Queen Avenue

These facilities at Lake Harriet will close beginning at midnight Friday morning

– Pedestrian and bike trails from W 44th Street on west side of lake to Roseway Road
– Lake Harriet North Beach
– William Berry Playground
– Bread & Pickle
– Roberts Bird Sanctuary
– Lyndale Park Gardens/Rose Garden and parking lots
– No watercraft allowed on Lake Harriet
– No access to buoyed sailboats

Restrictions for Harriet neighborhood residents
Residents living on Queen Avenue S. between W. 40th Street and W. 42nd Street will be escorted by police to and from their homes from early Friday morning through the end of the event.

Ticketholders will take buses to the event from Parade Stadium. Area parking lots are closed to the public until after the event.

All restrictions will be lifted after the event is over.

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