Crystal Lake prepares for President Joe Biden visit

Biden will be the 1st sitting president to visit the suburban community

Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Crystal Lake prepares for President Biden visit
President Joe Biden will visit Crystal Lake, Illinois Wednesday to talk about his American Families infrastructure plan and student debt relief, among other things.

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- President Joe Biden will visit Crystal Lake Wednesday to pitch his American Families infrastructure plan to a part of Illinois where slight majority voted for Donald Trump in the last election.

The details of the visit remain under wraps, but the community is buzzing with enthusiasm and pride on the eve of their first ever visit by a sitting president.

"It's awesome, absolutely awesome" said Mayor Haig Haleblian.

"The fact that he wanted to come here to Crystal Lake says a lot about who I think Joe Biden is," said resident Michael Zellmann. "He's open and I believe the people are willing to listen."

Government helicopters took off from a field on the grounds of McHenry County College, as crews unloaded equipment into the auditorium in anticipation of the visit. Signs welcoming President Biden can be seen across the downtown area, but his agenda has yet to be revealed except for that one stop.

"I'm very excited about President Biden coming to Illinois. He is expected to talk about the American Families plan," said Governor JB Pritzker

"We've never had a President come to the college so it's exciting," said Crystal Lake resident Wally Leckner.

"We are confident that the plan will help small businesses in the area, as well as working parents who are also business owners," said Vanessa Baker, small business owner.

Biden will also highlight his plan to make college more affordable and plans to relieve student debt.

"I got some debt. President Joe if you wanna pay that off that would be amazing. Send it my way. I would gladly receive it," said Jordan Tratscher.

The visit is important to McHenry County Democrats, too. While former president Trump won McHenry County, vote tabulations show President Biden won Crystal Lake, and easily.

"When you look at McHenry County we have historically been Republican, and Crystal Lake is an amazing community and we are incredibly open to hearing what any politicians has to say especially our president," Zellmann said.

Republican leaders however said they believe the president should visit Chicago and meet with Mayor Lightfoot about addressing the issues of crime and violence.

"There is a crisis going on in that city and it would be a dereliction of duty for him to fly over Chicago," said RNC spokesperson Paris Dennard.

Mayor Lightfoot confirmed meeting with President Biden is part of his agenda. She said common-sense gun control laws will be her first priority their talks.

Some in Crystal Lake's downtown hope the president swings by the Kaleidascoops Ice Cream shop. The owner of the clothes gallery next door is ready.

"When you're out of town how fun is it to bring something home for your wife?" said Sherree Rothstein.