Mississippi is preparing for its time in the presidential campaign spotlight, as Oxford is getting ready for the first debate between the major party candidates.
The debate between Republican Sen. John McCain and Democrat Sen. Barack Obama takes place Friday night, on the campus of the University of Mississippi in the Gertrude Ford Center.
Political activists and media from all over the county have already begun to arrive in Oxford. Ole Miss officials are working hard to make sure everything is ready.
"People worked very hard to make this happen," said Norman Easterbrook, director of The Ford Center at Ole Miss. "I think it's a great asset for the university, and for Mississippi. We're going to have a national and international platform to show who we are."
"That's where our eyes are focused, is how do we come together and have reasonable debate and reasonable, thoughtful discussions about the things that affect us the most," said Kate Mecham of the University of Mississippi.
The debate is expected to be seen on television by between 50 and 60 million people.