Updated at 11:18 a.m.

The doors of the Expo have opened and tickets to see President Barack Obama are being distributed to the line of waiting people.

Nicole Perrine, who was the first in line at 12:45 this morning, walked in quietly, hands in pockets, and when she got the first two tickets held them up and smiled.

“I feel pretty good,” she said. “Now I can go home and sleep.”

Others leaving after waiting for hours held up tickets happily and smiled.

Carl Inkel, who was third in line, brandished his tickets and said, “Wooo-hooo, Obama rocks.”


As of 10:45 a.m. the line stretched to the end of Washburn Avenue, and people were still showing up.

10:15 a.m.

Just before 10 a.m. today, hundreds of people hoping to get tickets to see President Barack Obama stood in line in a steady, heavy mist at the Portland Expo.

The line stretched from the Expo down Park Avenue, looped through the Hadlock Field parking lot, and continued on Park before turning the corner at St. John Street, where it extended to Washburn Avenue.

The first two people in line, Nicole Perrine of Old Orchard Beach and friend Dave Clifford, showed up at 12:45 this morning.

Perrine said she was just there to experience a moment in history.


“You don’t have many chances to meet the president,” she said.

The third person in line, Carl Inkel of Portland, arrived at about 1 a.m. He had been driving around the neighborhood in his car, checking to see if a line was starting to form. When he saw Perrine and Clifford take their places at the Expo doors, he parked his car, grabbed his beach chair and joined them.

The three and about a dozen others enjoyed shelter from the rain furnished by a small roof that extends over the Expo entrance.

Inkel, 46, who said he hasn’t missed voting in an election since he was 18, said he came to support the president and cheer him on.

“For me it took 100 years to get accomplished what Obama and Nacny Pelosi got done,” Inkel said, referring to passage of legislation to overhaul the nation’s health care system.  “I am just so proud of my president. That’s why i wanted to be here.”

Tickets for Obama’s speech will be distributed at 11 a.m. today, and each person can receive two.  The Expo can seat as many as 4,500 people.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and Obama is expected to speak around 3:25 p.m.

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