There is heavy to standstill traffic heading west on Route 40 out of Hagerstown. Thru traffic is advised to find an alternate route.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The People’s Convoy that has been traveling across the country from California arrived in Hagerstown on Friday evening. The convoy will be staying in the Hagerstown Speedway for the night.
People started to gather Thursday evening in anticipation. Supporters lined the streets with American flags, Canadian flags and other memorabilia as early as 4 p.m. The drivers were greeted by honking horns as they arrived.
The first trucks started to trickle in around 5 p.m., and the major part of the convoy arrived at 6 p.m. Trucks pulling trailers, cabs, motorcycles, and passenger cars made up this group.
A person traveling with the convoy told WDVM that there could be around 300 or more trucks, not including additional passenger cars who have joined in.
In preparation for the convoy’s arrival, which was estimated to begin anywhere from 3 p.m., Washington County Public Schools dismissed all schools two and a half hours early after they were warned by local law enforcement of heavy traffic near the district’s regularly scheduled dismissal time.
A spokesperson for WCPS told WDVM that many of the school buses in the county serve multiple schools, which is why dismissal times are staggered for the different schools. WCPS also said that they wanted to give parents or caregivers an estimated time when they could expect their student home or at their designated after-school location.
Angel Boyce usually babysits her sister’s children after their school day finishes but had to cancel all of her plans due to the early dismissal schedule.
“It’s like a little bit of a weird thing to figure out because, you know, I’m not supposed to be here right now,” Boyce said. “But like most of them [parents], they have to work like my sister had to go into work. She couldn’t take off work for this and she was upset about that.”
While WCPS students were sent home early, Melanie, a Mercersburg, Pennslyvania mom, took the opportunity to educate her two kids who she homeschools and brought them down to the Hagerstown Speedway for a civics trip.
“I just wanted them to see this little pocket of freedom fighters that are fighting for freedom, just to keep in touch with what’s happening and the country and around the world and what their stance what they stand for what they’re fighting for, affects everyone, globally,” she said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department estimates that traffic leading up to the Hagerstown Speedway is backed up for at least a mile in either direction. Officers are at major intersections directing traffic in and out of the speedway.