By: Sarah Snyder
We're just hours away from President Bush's return visit to the Tall City. About nine members of the White House Advance Team have been busy making preparations.
Local, state and federal authorities have been working around the clock since the announcement came earlier this month that George Bush would make Midland his first post-White House stop.
"We've got 20,000 people converging on downtown Midland," Georgia Godfrey, White House Advance Team, said. "We did it before in 2001, so we know it can be done and it's going to be a very smooth process."
The gates will open up at 1p.m. If you have a red or blue ticket, you'll enter at the gate on Colorado and Texas Street. If you have a white ticket, you'll go to the gate on Main and Wall Street.
"The City of Midland has been wonderful working with us and opening parking lots that normally aren't open to the public," Godfrey said. "I know the Bank of America building has opened their parking garage, we're using Midland High School after 2:30 as a parking location and there's shuttles running from there and the Greater Ideal Baptist Church Center as well."
They're also opening a handicapped lot called the "Superlot" off Missouri and Loraine streets.
"The earlier you get here, the closer you're going to be to the stage, and the closer you'll be to the President," Godfrey advised.
But to come through the gates, you'll have to go through security. Here's some things you can't bring in with you: No backpacks or duffles, no weapons, no aerosol or mace products, no food or drinks, signs, umbrellas, folding chairs, or pets. You cannot bring a video camera, but you are allowed to bring a still camera, purse, or diaper bag.
White House team members say, the most important thing you need to know, get there early!
"He's served the country over the last 8 years, and now he's coming back home to Texas - a place that he loves and he's called home for many years and he's just glad to be back," Godfrey said.
If you haven't picked up a ticket yet, you still have a chance. As of Monday morning, there were only about 1,000 of these tickets left. Team members tell us you can get one at the Bush Childhood Home until noon on Tuesday.