By TONY AIELLO
RHINEBECK, N.Y. (CBS 2) – It’s the social event of the summer.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton will walk down the aisle Saturday in Rhinebeck.
However, the father of the bride was the center of attention on Friday, drawing quite the crowd and media frenzy as he left a Rhinebeck restaurant.
Resident Danny Marx saw him.
“There was President Clinton — amazing!” Marx said.
Maureen Constable shook his hand.
“I’m shaking from just the mere, being in that presence. It was unreal!” Constable said.
Erika Burkhalter talked to him.
“I said, ‘I’m getting married, and I wish you all the best with Chelsea,’ and he said, ‘I know you’ll have a wonderful wedding,’ so it was just a really positive experience,” Burkhalter said.
The sighting of the ex-president was just what tourists and locals thronging downtown had been hoping for.
“Maybe that was a way to say thank you to Rhinebeck, to come out and show himself, because the rest of the weekend belongs to them and they’ll be secluded,” resident Julie Corwin said.
Secluded is clearly what Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky would prefer.
There is security at Grasemere Estate — the site of Friday night’s rehearsal dinner. Every truck bringing up supplies from New York City was scrutinized.
And at Astor Courts — the scene of the wedding — the Federal Aviation Administration is restricting flights so paparazzi can’t cover the affair from the air.
On the ground, expect detours and parking restrictions.
Many locals said the attention is worth the hassle.
“We were on the map before, but not like we are now. It’s a totally different aura here now,” merchant Ira Gutner said.
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