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Obama Visit Creates Buzz In Westchester

New Rochelle residents of Premium Point Park had front row seats to wave goodbye to President Obama at 3:40 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
New Rochelle residents of Premium Point Park had front row seats to wave goodbye to President Obama at 3:40 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Photo Credit: Jennie McFarland
There were plenty of eager travellers at the airport looking to get the first peek of Obama in Westchester.
There were plenty of eager travellers at the airport looking to get the first peek of Obama in Westchester. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Air Force One descending on Westchester County Airport.
Air Force One descending on Westchester County Airport. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Traffic building as the motorcade forced a closure on I-684 in Harrison.
Traffic building as the motorcade forced a closure on I-684 in Harrison. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Members of President Barack Obama's flight heading to the motorcade at the Westchester County Airport.
Members of President Barack Obama's flight heading to the motorcade at the Westchester County Airport. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Security helicopters circled around the Westchester County Airport.
Security helicopters circled around the Westchester County Airport. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
The president's motorcade waiting for his arrival.
The president's motorcade waiting for his arrival. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Air Force One touched down in Westchester shortly before 2 p.m. on Friday.
Air Force One touched down in Westchester shortly before 2 p.m. on Friday. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
The president's traveling partners depart Air Force One.
The president's traveling partners depart Air Force One. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
President Barack Obama's motorcade takes off for New Rochelle.
President Barack Obama's motorcade takes off for New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Excitement for President Obama’s visit reached a fever pitch at the Westchester County Airport on Friday afternoon, as locals and out-of-towners crammed into the observation deck to watch Air Force One land.

Obama landed shortly before 2 p.m. on Friday in Westchester, where he attended fundraisers in New Rochelle and Purchase before jetting to Rhode Island for another one at around 5 p.m. He will return Saturday to attend his personal chef’s wedding .

At the airport, more than three dozen people – led by a group of enthusiastic youngsters - jammed into the observation deck to watch the president’s personal plane touch down on the tarmac before his motorcade took off for New Rochelle minutes later.

“We were lucky, our plane got here on time, the pilot told us that if we were a few minutes later, we would have had to circle in the air for 45 minutes,” Yonkers resident Grace Stephens said about her return trip from Orlando.

All air traffic was completely halted for approximately an hour at the airport, with the first flight, a JetBlue charter, landing at around 2:20 p.m. Portions of several interstates and many local roads were intermittently shut down on Friday to accommodate the president’s motorcade and police escort.

“We were really worried about traffic from this and missing our flight, but we didn’t really hit any and now we’ve got a two hour wait,” Putnam native Caroline Galway mused. “Still, it isn’t a bad thing. We have our two kids (whose faces were pressed to the window) and they’re really excited to see the president come in.”

With secret service helicopters still circling the airport, Obama’s motorcade took off for New Rochelle shortly after 2 p.m., where he was reportedly going to a roundtable fundraiser at the home of Camilo A. Patrignani, the CEO of Greenwood Energy.

He then took off for Purchase, where he attended a holiday barbecue at Wall Street maven Robert Wolf’s estate.