First Lady Melania Trump in Jackson

First lady Melania Trump visits the Jackson Town Square on Thursday during a visit to Jackson Hole. Mrs. Trump later floated the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park. The first lady will tour sights in Grand Teton again Friday morning, then visit Yellowstone in the afternoon.

Ten black SUVs filed into the Town Square on Thursday, surrounded by row upon row of onlookers lining the boardwalks. Boy Scout troops stood in wait under the antler arches, while here and there Secret Service agents paced, scanning the premises.

It looked like the arrival of the president. When asked, mounted police officers divulged only that Jackson was expecting a visiting dignitary. But then, out of one of the cars climbed another Trump — Melania, the first lady of the United States of America, who this week made her first official voyage to Jackson Hole.

Soon after landing at the airport around 11 a.m. — in Executive One Foxtrot, the FLOTUS equivalent of Air Force One — she and her motorcade sped south down the highway, leaving dozens of pulled-over cars in their wake.

As they rolled into Jackson, parking along closed-off Center Street and Deloney Avenue, Mrs. Trump was met with curiosity and fanfare from locals and tourists. Shouts of “We love you, Melania!” filled the square, along with chants of “U.S.A.” and an impromptu rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner. Red “Make America Great Again” hats dotted the crowd.

Mrs. Trump made her rounds, chatting with each of the Scouts in turn, before heading to the Snake River for a quick float. On Friday she toured Grand Teton National Park and meet with fourth-grade students from the Teton County School District to promote the “Be Best” initiative and encourage children to spend more time outdoors.

Check this week’s News&Guide for more coverage of the first lady’s visit.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911 or

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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