View Full Version : Palin welcomed by 1000+ fans at Roanoke book signing;

11-22-2009, 10:31 PM
Palin welcomed by 1000+ fans at Roanoke book signing; with video, photo gallery

Video: More than 1,000 fans greet Palin at Roanoke Barnes & Noble

1:22 p.m.: Palin finished signing books and boarded the bus with her family and handlers. She shook a few hands and waved but didn't address the crowd. Some admirers chanted, "Run, Sarah, run."

Barnes & Noble is closed but will reopen to shoppers at 2 p.m.

1:14 p.m.: With more than 1,000 people lined up outside the Valley View Barnes & Noble Sunday, the Panera Bread restaurant across the parking lot braced for a surge.

The store added five extra workers on each shift and ordered 40 percent more food for the day, said Russell Kidd, regional manager.This Panera's up about 30 percent in sales today, with "quite a chunk" of customers coming from the Palin signing, he said.Almost every table was full in the restaurant at 1 p.m.The restaurant opened an hour earlier than usual, at 6:30 a.m.

"We figured there might be some people in line who'd want hot coffee or hot chocolate," Kidd said. Today would have been his day off, he added, but he came in specially to handle the Palin fans.

Inside the mall, store owners didn't have the same luck.

Nicole Cunningham, manager at the Hickory Farms kiosk on the first floor, said business had been horrible that morning.

Like many stores inside, the kiosk opened two hours early, at 10 a.m., to cater to potential crowds. Cunningham had only one customer by 12:30 p.m.

"It's a waste of my two hours," she said about opening early. "Even though there's an increase in people, there's no increase in sales."

Barnes & Noble only opened its outside entrance to customers today. The interior entrance into the mall has stayed closed.

11:40 a.m.: Palin signs the books at a table near the far left corner of the store, an alcove closed off by metal detectors and security guards. Her father, Chuck Heath, seated to her left, shakes people's hands and asks their names.

Palin greets each fan with a quick 'Thank you, thank you' and grasps a hand if a fan offers, her smile barely budging.

She rarely glances down at the stream of open books on the table top as she scribbles her loopy "SP" on each one.