Bill Clinton made a long-anticipated appearance in the upstate New York village where his daughter is getting married, drawing crowds of onlookers as preparations continued largely out of sight for the grand and secretive occasion.
In the evening, hundreds of people gathered outside the hotel where many of the guests are staying to catch a glimpse of the former president with his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Shortly before 11pm local time, the Clintons exited a van arm-in-arm outside the Beekman Arms Hotel.
The former first lady, in a long, green dress, waved to the cheering crowd waiting behind metal barricades outside and quickly went into the hotel.
Earlier in the day, Bill Clinton, looking fit and relaxed in blue jeans and a black knit shirt, walked with security a few blocks north from the picturesque village’s main intersection to the restaurant Gigi Trattoria.
Chelsea Clinton is expected to marry her longtime boyfriend, investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, at a ceremony Saturday evening attended by 400 to 500 people at the grand Astor Courts, an estate on the scenic east bank of the Hudson River.
Rumours abounded for weeks, including one that Rhinebeck was an elaborate decoy planned by the media-shy Chelsea and that the wedding would be elsewhere.
The appearance of the former president put all the conspiracy talk to rest.
And what does he think of his soon-to-be son-in-law?
“I like him very much,” the popular Democrat said. “I really do. I admire him. Hillary feels the same way.”