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Obama picks Cannon Falls for Minnesota visit

CANNON FALLS, Minn. - President Barack Obama will visit a Cannon Falls park Monday for what the White House calls a town hall meeting.

The White House Thursday night confirmed the event, which will begin at 11:45 a.m. Free tickets are available to the public beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday at Cannon Falls City Hall, 918 River Road.

Tickets will be limited to two per person and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The exact format of the Obama event was not announced, but it is part of a three-state bus tour during which he plans to discuss the economy.

It will be at Lower Hannah's Bend Park.

On Tuesday, Obama plans to host a rural economic forum in northeastern Iowa, then on Wednesday he will attend events in western Illinois.

"While in the Midwest, the president will discuss ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate hiring in communities and towns across the nation and hear directly from Americans, including small business owners, local families, private sector leaders, rural organizations and government officials," the Thursday night White House news release said. "The president knows we must do everything we can to promote economic growth, restore confidence in our nation's future and enhance the sense of optimism for future generations."

The White House considers the trip to be official business, although some Republicans say it looks more like a campaign swing. It comes two days after a Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa, that could help define the GOP presidential field.

The president is to arrive at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport late Monday morning and head to Cannon Falls, 36 miles south of St. Paul. His landing in Minnesota is closed to the public.

The White House tells people attending the event: "For security reasons, do not bring bags and limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted. All attendees will go through airport-like security. Due to limited space at the event the White House will only be able to fulfill a limited number of requests for tickets."

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.