Clinton visit + Halloween = Hectic Downtown Eau Claire

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Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- Downtown Eau Claire is packed tonight. Not only is President Clinton coming to town, but as your kids have no doubt reminded you about all day... It's Halloween! Downtown merchants are hosting little ghosts and goblins as well. That’s making for a busy downtown. If you're heading down to the Ramada, Eau Claire police want to remind you to be careful.

The Ramada Inn is just one of the many downtown businesses that has been passing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. "Last year we just...I mean I really just stocked up this year. It's so popular downtown, and with all the new things happening downtown trick-or-treating it's just plain wild! It's great!," says Wendy Welke, general manager of the Ramada Inn.

Kyle Roder of the ECPD has some reminders for people this evening. "Be patient and be cautious if you're driving down in the downtown area. There's going to be a lot of people...pedestrians walking both to the event of the Ramada as well as a lot of kids that are eager to get from business to business and get."

The Eau Claire police department has also been busy with political candidates today, but the department has ways of not sacrificing its budget or street staffing.

"At no point does our police department drop below our minimum staffing levels no matter what is going on we will stay at that level for our patrol staffing. Again we'll draw from different areas and if need be we'll call people in. So for Halloween tonight we'll have our officers out and about in their neighborhood beats as usual," explained Roder.

Meanwhile at the Ramada, Welke says with over 25 years of experience hosting politicians....she's used to the short notice and working with the police, campaigns, and secret service. "They're there and they're good. They just know everything about everything."

The Obama Campaign says the event with President Clinton tonight is free and open to the public with doors opening up at 6:15 pm. With how busy downtown is, they recommend getting down here early because space will be limited in the convention center.

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