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Romney Rally Won't Interrupt School on Friday, Hoover High Officials Say

With classes during the day and the big Jackson Township rivalry game that night, school officials say the routines of students, staff and parents will hardly be affected that day

While many North Cantonians will gather in Jackson Township for the big rivalry game Friday night, others will congregate at Hoover High's baseball field for a campaign rally with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.

The duo announced on their campaign website today that they'll be making an appearance in North Canton for the "Friday Night Victory Rally with Mitt & Paul." The event will kick off at 6:30 p.m., and doors will open at 4:30 p.m., according to the event page.

Click here to get tickets to the free event, or pick them up at the Canton Victory Center at 3976 Fulton Road, across from St. Michael's Church.

The event shouldn't affect classes at Hoover High that day, nor should it cause problems with student athletes and band members leaving that afternoon for the Jackson game, said Todd Henne, business manager for North Canton City Schools.

"We're going to run a regular school day, and when the school day is over we're asking students and staff to leave in a timely manner for their own safety of not getting blocked in (in the parking lot)," Henne said. "Seventh Street will be a little hectic, so we encourage everyone to use the 10th Street area, then walk over to the stadium."

Henne said he's unsure yet whether any teachers have decided to incorporate Friday's rally into their lessons or whether any students or student groups will be spotlighted at the rally. He said it's a "maybe" right now, but there could be fireworks that night, too.

And, the musical group the Oak Ridge Boys announced on Twitter Tuesday that they will be performing at the rally.  

Henne said district started working with the Romney campaign Monday to figure out which site would work best. The campaign contacted the Secret Service Tuesday and said they had settled on the baseball field and also laid down plans for the motorcade route and parking.

Henne said school officials also met with North Canton police Tuesday to go over traffic and safety measures.

"We're planning another walk-through this afternoon to fine-tune the details and how the positions are going to be staffed and how to handle traffic," Henne said.

He made a guess as to why North Canton and Hoover High School was chosen for the site of Friday night's rally.

"If they had a Friday night spot to fill, half the schools are hosting home football games, so that takes half of them out right off the bat," Henne said.

According to the Romney campaign site, "All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted."

Keep checking back with North Canton Patch for more updates leading up to Friday's rally.

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