Positive effects for Murphysboro after president's visit - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Positive effects for Murphysboro after president's visit

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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. -- A day after President Donald Trump's Make America Great Again Rally at Southern Illinois Airport, the city of Murphysboro is still feeling the economic excitement. 

Murphysboro business owner Amy Mills says 17th Street Barbecue saw customers from all over, including Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana. 

"Every visit of this type shines a spotlight on southern Illinois, and the more light we can shine on this region and the more people that know, the better."

17th Street Barbeque served more than 300 tables on Saturday, and the first customer was outside the restaurant at 7 a.m.

"You know people had the whole day to spend in Murphysboro, and things aren't open in our town until 10 a.m.," Mills said. "We had a nice crowd that started early and lasted all day."  

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens said this type of major event benefits residents and businesses. 

"It's going to draw in the people that have to do things like fill up their gas tanks or get a meal," Stephens said. "The city's budget is based on 80 percent sales tax revenue."

Stephens says it was a race to the finish making sure all resources throughout the area were being coordinated. 

"Day by day plans continued to change," Stephens said. "The times continued to change all the way up to the event. It was a very fluid situation and it took ample communication."

Earlier in the week, U.S. Representative Mike Bost asked Stephens to play a major role in the rally. 

"He called me and asked if I would lead the Pledge of Allegiance," Stephens said. 

Murphysboro High School Choir Director Jessica White also played a major role by singing the national anthem. 

After the community of Murphysboro lined the downtown with flags and businesses spent the week preparing, Stephens says no matter what side of the aisle residents are on, the president coming to town benefited everyone. 

"I think overall the community was appreciative the president came to the region," Stephens said. "You have to do the best you can for when the President of the United States comes to represent your community."

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