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Only 1,000 people will get to be in audience during Thursday Obama event in Fargo

FARGO - An estimated 1,000 tickets will be made available for the public to hear presidential candidate Barack Obama speak here on Thursday. Dan Hannaher, a senior North Dakota adviser for the campaign, said today he didn't have a precise number ...

FARGO - An estimated 1,000 tickets will be made available for the public to hear presidential candidate Barack Obama speak here on Thursday.

Dan Hannaher, a senior North Dakota adviser for the campaign, said today he didn't have a precise number of tickets that will be made avail-able.

However, he knows the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm won't be able to handle a huge crowd. He estimated 1,000 tickets for the public and 300 for veterans being avail-able.

"It will probably disappoint some that we're not able to accommodate all. I think I can assure everyone that Sen. Obama will return," Hanna-her said.

When news of the Illinois senator's visit was announced Monday, the initial plan was to make the 12:30 p.m. Thursday event invitation only.

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However, North Dakota Democratic officials advised the campaign to open it to the public to some degree, if at all possible, Hannaher said.

"That's just the way we like to do things here," he said.

The event is scheduled to be small because Obama wants to have a more intimate conversation with veterans, rather than make a large rally speech, Hannaher said.

The proximity to the airport and the "nice, open, friendly space" made the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm a good location for the event, he said.

Hannaher estimates Obama will attend the event for 90 minutes.

Officials are reaching out to veterans groups to find people from all generations and services to participate in the event, Hannaher said.

Obama will discuss with military families and veterans "the importance of keeping our sacred trust with those who have served our country," said Amy Brundage, a spokeswoman for the cam-paign.

"Senator Obama is coming back to North Dakota because we believe that North Dakota voters deserve to hear what is at stake in this election," she said in a statement.

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Obama will take questions during the event, organizers said.

More information about Obama's visit is expected to be released later today.

Tickets can be picked up today from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office, 115 Roberts St. N., Fargo.

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