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Photo does not show Trump rally in Ocala, Florida

October 17, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: A photo of a massive crowd filling a bridge and streets was taken at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Ocala, Florida, on Friday, Oct. 16. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo shows a popular music festival in Zurich, Switzerland. 

THE FACTS: Following Trump’s rally at the Ocala International Airport, social media users shared the photo, misrepresenting the size of the crowd at the Trump event. “FLORIDA RALLY today and the polls say Biden is winning,” the Facebook posts said. 

The photo, which shows people stretching in every direction across a bridge and surrounding streets near a body of water, was taken before the pandemic at Street Parade, an annual festival held around the Lake Zurich basin. Ocala, which is in Central Florida, is miles away from any large bodies of water like the one shown in the photo. 

It’s not the first time that the photo has been misrepresented. Recently, it was shared on social media with claims that it showed protesters in Berlin demonstrating against coronavirus restrictions. 

The photo of the music festival can be found on the Street Parade website in its 2018 photo gallery. The event features several large stages and mobile platforms with performances by DJs and live acts.

The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year, but the 2020 festival was canceled due to the pandemic. 

In other photos of the event, the Swiss flag can clearly be seen on the bridge. 

At the Friday event held at Ocala International Airport, the president reminded rally attendees that early voting starts in the state on Monday. Thousands of the president’s supporters arrived at the airport to hear the president speak. 


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: