Updated: Sunday, 28 Oct 2012, 3:21 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 27 Oct 2012, 3:00 PM EDT
CELINA, Ohio (WANE) - Governor Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will speak at the Celina Fieldhouse Sunday. Celina Mayor Jeffery Hazel learned Saturday. The original plan had only Ryan visiting the Mercer County town.
According to the Associated Press, Romney was scheduled to spend Sunday in Virginia Beach, Va., but canceled the weekend trip as Hurricane Sandy approaches the east coast.
"It is extremely exciting," Matt Gilmore, the chairman of the Mercer County Republican Party, said. "The buzz in town and throughout the county over the last three days has just been phenomenal."
Leaders with both the county's Republican and Democratic parties said the trip is the first by a major presidential or vice presidential candidate since 1988. In that year, former Indiana U.S. Senator, Dan Quayle visited Celina to help get George H.W. Bush into the White House.
Hazel first learned Ryan might make a trip to his town on Monday, but was told nothing was finalized. Then, he saw Romney was in Defiance, Ohio Thursday night.
During the past several days, Hazel said the chances of a Ryan visit changed day-to-day. On Thursday, the same day Romney visited Defiance, Hazel found out Ryan would make the trip.
"When Defiance got it and Governor Romney was up there, we were all excited and thinking, I wish he could come here," Hazel said.
Since Thursday, Hazel said the town's been preparing for the visit.
"We really wanted to make sure we had their travel path where their motorcade was going to come through, and how they're going to set up out at the field house," Hazel said. "Our whole police department and fire department, and the sheriff's office is involved, in addition to the secret service."
The Republican presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate will speak in the gymnasium at the Celina Fieldhouse at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.
The Mercer County Republican Party said as of Saturday afternoon some of the 2,000 tickets were still available.
The event is free to the public.
County leaders said large screens may be placed in the auditorium, at the Celina Fieldhouse, and outside on the football, if the crowd and weather allows it.
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