Thousands waited for hours in single-digit temperatures to try to snag a ticket to President Barack Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago.
People began lining up well before sunrise for Saturday’s 8 am ticket distribution, saying they want to show their appreciation and soak in the final moments of his history-making presidency.
The lines stretched for blocks and snarled traffic around McCormick Place, the sprawling convention center along Lake Michigan where Obama will speak on Tuesday night.
‘You never know when something as huge or as phenomenal like this will happen again, so I was like “I’m not missing this for nothing”,” said Umar Ibrahim, 28, who took the day off from his job as a city bus driver to snag a ticket, waking up at 3 a.m. to start the trek to the convention center.
‘Just talking about it makes you beam,’ he said as he clenched his ticket, grinning from ear-to-ear.
Obama’s final speech to the public will continue a tradition set in 1796 when George Washington addressed the American people for the last time as president.