DNC announces uptown Labor Day event details

DNC announces uptown Labor Day event details


by NewsChannel 36 Staff


Posted on July 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 31 at 1:40 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Officials released details on Friday surrounding the Labor Day Democratic National Convention event in uptown Charlotte.

CarolinaFest 2012 will take place on Tryon Street on September 3 and will serve as the DNC kickoff event.

The event will be free to the public and will have live music, speakers and family activities.  Public transportation to the event will be made available as well for the event that will run from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

There will be two stages—a main state at Trade and Tryon Streets and on the Levine Avenue of the Arts.  Officials did not release details on who will perform and speak.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Gantt Center, and the Mint Museum will be open for free on the day of the event, and discounted admission will be available at the Discovery Place and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Local companies must sign up by Tuesday to be food and retail vendors.  Sign-up details are available at Charlottein2012.com.

One feature announced Friday is the Legacy Village near the Gantt Center.

“It will be home to exciting and engaging exhibits and provide festivalgoers an opportunity to see firsthand the great work that being done in support of the Mayor’s Legacies,” the DNC said in a statement.

Legacy Village programs include healthy children, healthy families, youth employment and civic education, among others.

Organizers expect 30,000 visitors; businesses excited

Jill Sauer is the manager at Matt’s Chicago Dog in uptown Charlotte.       

They’ve been open for 10 years with a steady stream of customers, and when there’s a big event nearby, it usually means big business.

But Sauer was surprised when she first heard about CarolinaFest on Friday

“No, we did not hear about CarolinaFest until today,” said Sauer.

The city’s communications director, Kim McMillan, is excited about the event.

“If you're not a delegate or if you're not going be attending the convention, it's a wonderful opportunity to experience the convention and I know that's a top priority for the organizers of Carolina Fest,” said McMillan.

Organizers are expecting 30,000 people for the event and Sauer sees it as an opportunity.

"Oh we're excited because we're a family-oriented restaurant,” she said.  “And CarolinaFest is family-oriented so we're really excited about it."

It’s especially important considering the timing.  Holidays for uptown businesses tend to be a little slow.

"It's usually very slow unless there's a festival like this. So I think it's great for the city and it's great for the local businesses for sure."

But there will be some challenges, like trying to make sure employees can get to work the week of the convention.

"Everything is sort of up in the air right now.  We do know that this area will be closed off to traffic, so we will be bused in.  I'm not sure how it's going to work.  It changes every day," Sauer noted.

How long they’ll be open on Labor Day may also change.  There’s a good chance they’ll be open a little longer.