Forget about exclusive house parties and intimate meet-and-greets. Donald Trump’s presidential rallies are, in Trump's terms, "huge."
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The GOP presidential front-runner prefers to rally his supporters in large arenas and convention centers, a choice that is at least in part necessitated by the thousands drawn to his campaign rallies.
Packed house at Trump rally pic.twitter.com/u2ZDQNCDnA— Jordyn Phelps (@JordynPhelps) November 20, 2015
Trump frequently touts from the stump that his rallies are the biggest of any president candidate in either party. The most dedicated fans can be spotted lining up at the rally venue hours before the doors open.
What the line for the Donald Trump rally in Birmingham, AL looks like 15 minutes before doors open pic.twitter.com/HvlKO1BaWC— Jordyn Phelps (@JordynPhelps) November 21, 2015
But the waiting game is only partially complete when the doors open, which usually happens about two hours before Trump is set to take the stage, as members of the public have to go through security screening complete with medal detectors ever since Trump recently obtained Secret Service protection.
Once inside, the vibe of the some of the venues almost feels more akin to a sporting event than a political rally in that there is more to occupy the waiting fan than is the case at a standard to political rally. At equipped venues, food carts, concession stands, and sometimes even alcoholic beverages, are available for purchase.
Donald Trump with a side of Skittles? The concession stand at tonight's Trump rally in Massachusetts pic.twitter.com/1wQhlMJcy9— Jordyn Phelps (@JordynPhelps) November 18, 2015
Trump’s rallies feature unique musical arrangements and live entertainment. A cappella group served as pre-rally entertainment at a weekend rally in Birmingham, Ala.
Before Trump takes the stage, a playlist of songs that are said to be hand-picked by the candidate himself come over the loud speakers.
The musical selections can be unorthodox; “Music of the Night” from the “Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack as well as opera arrangements by Botticelli, Elton John's “Tiny Dancer,” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep" have entertained Trump's supporters.
And when Trump does make his grand appearance, the real show begins.
No Trump rally is complete without the candidate verbally jousting just about every candidate he’s competing against.
Trump will sometimes grow quite animated in the delivery of zingers. One of the most memorable examples was when Trump play-acted the scene described by Republican rival Dr. Ben Carson of when he tried to stab a cousin in his youth –- an incident that Carson says ended without injury because the knife hit his belt buckle on impact.
It’s also not uncommon at the boisterous rallies for there to be impromptu interruptions by hecklers and protesters.
Trump works the interruptions into his performance, sometimes verbally encouraging security to remove the agitator, and mocking the media for recording the incident. “Look at those bloodsuckers,” Trump said of the media to an audience in Birmingham as a skirmish ensued in the process of one protester being escorted out.
Another defining characteristic of a Trump rally is the distinct choice of attire by Trump’s most ardent fans and volunteers working the event.
The style is distinctly Trump.
Hats emblazoned with Trump’s “Make America Great” logo have become the most emblematic accessory associated with Trump’s campaign and a common sighting at his rallies. But some supporters have taken things to the next level, like one man who took it upon himself to design a one-of-a-kind Trump sombrero.
"Make America Great Again" hats are emblematic of Trump rallies. But one pro-Southern wall supporter has a sombrero pic.twitter.com/hLTSoLFT9w— Jordyn Phelps (@JordynPhelps) November 20, 2015
And while campaign volunteers are often seen sporting Trump t-shirts, the look is often polished off with a suit jacket, while still others opt for a complete suit, mirroring Trump himself.
These Citadel cadets and Trump campaign volunteers dressing up their campaign attire in distinctly Trump-esque style pic.twitter.com/4rdHnruwAe— Jordyn Phelps (@JordynPhelps) November 20, 2015