Former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was in central Wisconsin to sign copies of her new book.
Walmart in Rib Mountain hosted the event. It started at 10:00 a.m. and was scheduled to run until noon.
Walmart officials tell Newsline 9 the store was out of books less than an hour into Palin's visit. A store manager says between 700 and 1,100 people showed up.
Palin came to the Wausau area because of a recent Christmas music controversy in the Wausau School District. The district had proposed limiting the number of religious songs at school holiday concerts. After a public backlash, the district reversed course and made no changes.
On her Facebook page Wednesday, Palin wrote that once she heard about the controversy, "I knew we had to visit the community of Wausau, WI, to encourage the good citizens there to keep up the good fight!"
Palin is on a nationwide tour promoting her new book "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas." Palin calls for bringing back the freedom to express the Christian values of the season. She laments the over-commercialization and homogenization of Christmas in today's society.
Newsline 9 was allowed into Walmart to observe Palin signing books for about 10 minutes. After that, all the media were escorted out of the store.
We caught up with a few of her fans after the book signing.
"I couldn't pass on the opportunity with her this close. So it was worth burning a little personal time and taking off work to come see such a heroine," said Linda Miller of Milladore.
"I believe everything she stands for, I believe she's such a beautiful person inside and out and we need Christ in Christmas," said Sharon Yach of Wausau.
But Palin is a polarizing figure. Many others stayed away from her event.
"I seriously wouldn't walk across the street to see her. I probably would walk across the street to avoid her," said David Stachovak of Wausau.
"She doesn't have any brains and she's just telling people what they want to hear," said Mike Vincelli of Wausau.
Newsline 9 also asked multiple times for an opportunity to interview Palin. Each time, our request was denied.
Palin met with State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) before the event. She also met with Pat McKee, the Wausau School Board member who has been outspoken about the district's music controversy and the superintendent's handling of it.
At 11:25 a.m. Palin tweeted, "Listening to the beautiful Wausau West High School Christmas CD at our book signing right now."
The Wausau West choir was at the center of the music controversy. The school's master singers program temporarily disbanded while the district considered the limits on religious music.