PALM BEACH, Fla. – President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Palm Beach on Dec. 23 and return to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 3 after his last Christmas and New Years at Mar-a-Lago as president, according to a source who learned of the visit from the Secret Service.
Widespread speculation in the past week had suggested that Trump might spend his final Christmas in office in the White House, or that he might come to Mar-a-Lago and not return to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.
How Trump will spend the holiday and how many family members will join him is not known. The first couple will not be going to Bethesda-by-the-Sea, where they have traditionally attended Christmas Eve services. The church, where the couple married and their son Baron was baptized, is holding virtual Christmas Eve services on YouTube.
Trump and the first lady could attend live services at Family Church in West Palm Beach. Last year, Trump broke with tradition and went to Christmas Eve services at the evangelical church during a time in the campaign when his behavior was being criticized by some evangelical Christian scholars.
Also unknown is whether Trump will host his annual New Year's Eve red carpet gala.
For locals, the 12-day visit will likely be the last time roads will be closed along South Ocean Boulevard, the motorcade route to and from Palm Beach International Airport, Mar-a-Lago and Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
After he leaves office, South Ocean near Mar-a-Lago will no longer be closed when the former president visits his private club, according to the source. Trump and first lady Melania Trump have declared Mar-a-Lago their legal residence and are expected to live at the club with their teenage son Baron.
Some neighbors don't want the first family to live at the club and have gone public with their dispute. On Tuesday, West Palm Beach attorney Reginald G. Stambaugh sent a letter to Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio and the Town Council laying out the legal reasons and security concerns that he said should bar Trump from living at his private club.
According to Stambaugh, Trump has violated an agreement he entered into with the town after lengthy, contentious meetings in 1993 over his commitment to preserve the 18-acre estate if the town allowed him to turn Mar-a-Lago into a club.
Coniglio also received a fax from an organization expressing similar concerns. "We don't want you to be our neighbor and break our laws," read the letter from the group calling itself The Palm Beach Committee.
Trump has made more than 30 presidential visits to Mar-a-Lago since his inauguration, and the closure of a half-mile stretch of South Ocean Boulevard has been especially difficult for neighbors and service workers who have been required to clear a Secret Service checkpoint to get to their homes.
Because South Ocean is the only thoroughfare along that stretch of the island, no other road could serve as a detour – meaning going from the north end of the island to the south required crossing a bridge to West Palm Beach.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Trump to arrive on Dec. 23 for last presidential Mar-a-Lago holiday