Business owners and law enforcement spent much of the day boarding up their businesses and barricading the square, bracing for a White Lives Matter Rally.
"I thought we were past this, I thought we were way past this," said Toi Scott, organizer of the Murfreesboro Loves group.
Almost 1,000 people are expected to join rally as she's helped organize as counter protesters at the park on Saturday.
"i'm so overwhelmed and grateful at how this community has come together," said Scott.
They're aiming to peacefully condemn a White Lives Matter rally taking place at the same time, but the park wasn't far enough not to sense what was brewing at the square as many businesses boarded up.
"It looks like a hurricane preparation doesn't it? and that's ok like I said nothing says you're not welcome like plywood," said resident Sally Wright.
Police shut down the square Friday afternoon. Even though drills and saws echoed loudly in the streets, messages of hope spoke louder than words.
Like hundreds of others Romel McMurry wrote messages of hope and peace on this boarded up business.
"Whatever is going on or is coming, is not what Murfreesboro is," said McMurry.
Only time will tell if Friday was the calm before the storm.
"People have the right to protest the freedom of speech and I wish they went to some other town," said Murfreesboro resident.