Longwood University prepares for Vice Presidential debate

Published: Sep. 28, 2016 at 5:22 PM EDT
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Next week's Vice Presidential debate will put Longwood University and its hometown of Farmville in the International spotlight.

With just a few days to go before the candidates and major media organizations arrive, both the school and the town are working to present the best possible image.

"Seeing the debate logo all over town, on Main Street and everywhere, is just really cool exposure," said Caitlin Close, a junior at Longwood.

Large banners hang throughout Farmville and on every prominent building on the Longwood campus, advertising the debate.

The event will be held inside Willett Hall, which is already surrounded by fences and large generators.

A tennis court has been covered with trailers to accommodate the media. Three large risers are being erected in front of the debate venue for reporters.

"The closer it gets, the more anxious we're all getting," said Close. "We're seeing all of the construction and all of the fences being put up, so we're just excited to see the final look of it all come together on October 4."

In Farmville sidewalks downtown have been freshly cleaned and businesses have put up patriotic decorations to welcome their political visitors.

"I'm looking forward to it showcasing how great Longwood and Hampden-Sydney (College), and our community," said Farmville town manager, Gerald Spates. "This is a wonderful place to live and work and we're just so proud of what we've done."

Farmville leaders say the debate is already drawing outside interest. When Longwood University and Farmville were mentioned at the end of this week's presidential debate, which was watched by more than 80-million people, the town's website saw a 200% increase in user traffic overnight.