Northumberland County’s Republican committee may have had to cancel its traditional fall oyster roast due to the Covid outbreak, but that didn’t stop it from having a large party on Saturday.

While a hard count was difficult to get about 1,500 people showed up. Most came by road but about 50 boatloads arrived at the landing at Bleak House Farm on Lewisetta Road. The rally started at 2 p.m. but at 3 p.m., about a mile of vehicles was still lined up bumper to bumper heading into the rally site.

The road into the farm was decorated with hundreds of American flags overlaid with eagles and President Donald Trump’s name.

The Reverend Mike O’Donnell delivered an invocation.

Mike Baughan, who was a sparkplug in arranging the rally, called it a “peaceful protest” but didn’t say what the protest was against. Five Sheriff’s Department cruisers were parked about a mile away at Melrose Church in case disruptions happened, which they didn’t.

The crowd all stood and joined in the National Anthem.

The word must’ve gotten out that the Northumberland GOP was having a serious rally. Two potential GOP gubernatorial candidate showed up: former speaker of the house Kirk Cox and State Senator Amanda Chase. Delegate Margaret Ransone spoke for U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Gade. Rob Wilttman, the first district’s incumbent congressman, spoke urging the faithful to vote and thanking them for their support.

According to several party members, Junior Fisher, who was in charge of the gate, said he was glad the weather was rainy. If it had been good, he thought, they wouldn’t have been able to handle the crowd.