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Trump rally in Arizona: Vendors ready to sell gear along route to event

Former President Donald Trump’s first rally of 2022 will be in Florence, where several Republican candidates will take the stage as well.

Trump’s appearance Saturday will be his second in the state since leaving office and underscores his continued importance in GOP circles nearly one year after departing the White House. 

Follow coverage of the Trump rally by Republic reporters here throughout the day Saturday.

Early Friday afternoon: Vendors gear up for Trump rally

Days before Donald Trump’s rally in Florence, merchandise vendors were staking out highway pullouts and setting up roadside stands more than 20 miles away.

Vendors dragged tents, tables and Trump gear from the backs of vehicles beginning Wednesday.

Flags and T-shirts fluttered around canopies in at least three spots within a mile of each other Friday on Hunt Highway just over the Maricopa County line in San Tan Valley.  

Hunt Highway is one of the central routes for people driving from the East Valley to the Country Thunder venue, where Trump is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Passing cars gave the occasional honk as they zoomed past on Friday, earning waves from vendors. “It’s going to be good weekend,” one seller said. 

— Robert Anglen