HALIFAX -- Former U.S. president Barack Obama spoke to a sold-out crowd of 9,000 in Halifax on Wednesday night and the day after his visit, the city was still buzzing.

For some, the visit of the 44th President of the United States was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A select few met Obama one-on-one, including anti-violence activist Quentrel Provo, who had a short visit with Obama after the event.

"(It was) two-to-three, three-to-four minutes," Provo said. "Not sure … It felt like it actually stopped when I was talking to him."

Provo found the former president to be approachable, engaging and funny.

"He made the conversation easy and then I was taking my hat off for the picture and he goes, you've got a nice-shaped head," Provo said.

And when Obama heard Provo's parents recently celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary, he signed this hat for them.

The message: "Happy 25th, Barack Obama."

Police had requested people not attending the event to stay away from downtown.

Paul MacKinnon from the Downtown Halifax Business Commission said many ignored that request.

The crowds downtown were big and restaurants and bars were busy.

The security presence was massive, with an increased police presence.

The Mounties won't specify how many police officers were on duty.

The price tag of the extra security is also unknown.