President Biden lands in Nantucket

The island is preparing for the arrival of the president

(November 23, 2021) President Joe Biden and his family landed in Nantucket on Air Force One just after 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.

They quickly entered the presidential motorcade and headed for the Abrams Point beachfront resort of billionaire Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein. Rubenstein is in Europe.

A handful of well-wishers greeted the motorcade as it left.

The Bidens have been spending Thanksgiving in Nantucket for more than 40 years, starting when Biden was a senator from Delaware.

Joining Joe and Jill Biden on their island tour will be their son Hunter and his wife Melissa Cohen, their daughter Ashley, their grandchildren Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie and Beau; and Peter Neal, Naomi’s fiancé, according to the White House.

The president was a visible figure during his vice presidential visits, shaking hands on Main Street during the annual tree lighting and community caroling the day after Thanksgiving, shopping, biking, watching a movie at the Dreamland Theater and even hitting the water at Children’s Beach as part of the Atheneum’s Cold Turkey Plunge fundraiser on Thanksgiving morning.

He is expected to attend Friday’s Christmas tree lighting and sing Christmas carols on Main Street.

Nantucket Police Lt. Angus MacVicar would not comment on Biden’s plans to appear in public during his visit, including the lighting of downtown trees, except to say, “Any information I provides on this subject is reserved for official use”.

The Bidens are expected to stay on the island through Sunday.

Bill Puder, owner of the Faregrounds restaurant with his wife Kim, has been cooking the Bidens’ holiday meal for more than two decades. The menu typically includes scallops wrapped in a bacon and shrimp cocktail, turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings, and several kinds of pies.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he hadn’t been asked to cook this year’s meal, instead he’s cooking take-out Thanksgiving dinners for 100 Secret Service members.

The Nantucket Fire Department issued calls over the weekend for additional personnel to be on standby during the president’s visit. The department kept an additional two-man crew on duty during Biden’s vice president trips, standard protocol for politicians visiting smaller communities, Fire Chief Steve Murphy said. The coverage cost the city — and ratepayers — about $12,000 in 2016.

Security will also be tightened at the airport throughout the week.

Temporary flight restrictions will be in effect for an area around the airport until Sunday. The Secret Service and the FAA designated the island as a “no drone zone” during the presidential visit.

Commercial and cargo operators will be subject to increased security and inspection measures, and charter and private planes flying to the island will need to be pre-screened at Logan Airport in Boston or Westchester Airport in White Plains , NY before heading to Nantucket.

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