Ottawa is buzzing with anticipation as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares for his first foreign visit on Thursday.

Obama's short trip to Canada, which is expected to be only a few hours long, will include meetings with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Although the visit will likely focus on business, it's not stopping Canadians from celebrating.

"There's bus trips coming in from Hamilton, Kitchener, Toronto and from Montreal. And there's even people flying in from Halifax," said Rachel Decoste of the Obama Welcoming Brigade.

People who live in the capital are also excited about the upcoming presidential visit.

"First black president and everything else, it's really exciting. I just hope he's given a fair shot because there's so much for him to do -- but it is very exciting," one resident told CTV Ottawa on Monday.

"It's exciting to have him. It's kind of like a Kennedy situation," added another.

Businesses hope to cash in

Businesses in the capital are also hoping to catch a financial bite of the Obama spinoff.

At Bang On clothing store in the Byward Market, shoppers can pick up Obama T-shirts. Even a classic winter pastry has adopted a new name to honour the president.

"An 'Obama Tail' is just the regular cinnamon sugar beaver tail. So, it has butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture on it and then we put a whip cream 'O' on it and then some chocolate," said BeaverTail manager Jennifer Kasun.

Events for Obama fans

Although there's no guarantee Obama fans will catch a glimpse of the U.S. president, there are plenty of events planned to honour him.

On Wednesday, a cocktail party will be held at Metropolitan Brasseries restaurant. On Thursday, a rally is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Parliament Hill. A second rally is also planned at the First Baptist Church on Laurier Avenue at Elgin Street.

Those who wish to pay tribute to Obama can also participate in a walk from the human rights monument to the Laurier Avenue Bridge.

Hefty security costs

Still, the presidential visit doesn't come without its costs. Security alone is pegged at $2 million.

"We are providing the highest level of security for him, his entourage and the public," said Supt. Charles Bordeleau of the Ottawa police.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at the Ottawa International Airport Thursday morning.

Police say road closures, on-street parking restrictions and detours will all be in place during the visit and advise that last-minute disruptions can happen with little or no notice.

So far, Obama has not scheduled any public appearances.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Jonathan Rotondo