I consider myself patriotic and I vote, I’m just not real crazy about all the politics involved. But when the National Democratic Convention is being held practically in one’s backyard, and they are having a huge uptown party free to the public, how could I not go? This is Part I of III and a taste of
The naysayers around here have been chanting ‘DNC-Do Not Come!’ Thankfully many did not heed that message. I take the train into Charlotte regularly, but Monday’s ride was very different. Instead of a train full or semi-full, it was crammed! Bunched together were parents with children of all ages restricted by various means, people of all ages, race and dress. I shared intimate space with two foreign reporters.
And instead of riders with their noses in books, ears plugged with earbuds or eyes shut to each other, everyone was laughing, showing off campaign buttons and paraphernalia, and sharing stories. Monday’s train ride had the air and energy of a party. We weren’t just headed into Uptown Charlotte, we were headed to an event!
I arrived after the main parade but before Mayor Anthony Foxx opened the festivities. The Johnson C. Smith University Marching Band was in formation waiting for their cue.
(I have a weakness for drummers.) I’m not sure how long they’d already been standing there, but I waited 20 minutes before they played. I can’t imagine how hot they must have been in those uniforms under a noon North Carolina sun. But I didn’t see one player fidget, fan his face or run a finger around her collar. When they stepped off, the notes were perfect and the two drum majors high stepping. If you’ve never seen the JCSU Marching Band, they don’t march, they dance!
When I attend something like this for the first time, I do a pass-through without stopping much or buying anything. I just like to scratch the surface and get a taste and sight of things. So come along-
I’m sure the Delegates and visitors expected tons of BBQ and I’m sure there was that much. The sweet, tangy, smoky air filtered all the way down Tryon St. But there were other foods
and of course sweets-cookies, chocolates and Funnel Cakes by Diane. The scent of cinnamon, deep-fried batter, and fruit topping made my mouth water. One picture I couldn’t get was a plate of potato ribbons- deep fried mounds of crispy, translucent ruffles that are so light they practically melt in your mouth.
Besides food there were activities and entertainment for all ages.
I left before the heavy rains, high winds and James Taylor arrived. All the important people began arriving today -Mrs. Obama’s speech was this evening.
Well, not all the important people. The Delegates were already here and I had lunch with one of them! I’ll tell you about this amazing woman in Part III, along with the volunteer I rode the train home with. But for now, all roads lead into Charlotte
and Monday’s welcome mat was pretty impressive.