CHARLOTTE, N.C. Thousands of people showed up Saturday morning at two Charlotte locations to get credentials for President Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech.
The line at the West Boulevard location in the City West Commons shopping center snaked around the Jack in the Box on the corner, up Remount Road and down Kimberly Road. Before ticket distribution even began, at least 1,000 people were in line, and the line kept growing.
At 10 a.m., a Democratic National Convention Committee organizer riled up the crowd.
“When I say ‘O,’ you say ‘Bama!’ ” he shouted, and the crowd responded with enthusiasm.
The committee handed out two credentials per person.
The first two people in line at West Boulevard got there at 9:30 p.m. Friday and camped out in their car. But they said the wait was worth it.
“The tickets are very beautiful,” said Sheila Moore, who was first in line and grinned as she held her two tickets. “I’m just so excited, I don’t even feel tired. I’m totally rejuvenated.”
Betty Wingate was surprised at how early people arrived.
“I was so excited when I got here, I’d knew I’d be first in line,” said Betty Wingate, 58, of Charlotte, who arrived around 7 a.m. “No, I wasn’t! I was number 250 in line!”
Sharon Himes, decked in a black history month shirt with two Obama inauguration pins and a campaign sticker, cheered with her arms raised as she walked toward the information tables to get credentials.
Himes said getting in line at 4:30 a.m. was worth the wait. “It’s such a relief, oh my goodness,” she said. “It’s truly worth it. I have two tickets in my hand! Bank of America Stadium, here I come!”
Himes, 49, of Charlotte, said crowds and lines won’t deter her from participating in the Democratic National Convention the first week of September.
“This is my vacation for the week of the convention,” she said. “I’m staying in town, and I’m going to be here every night.”
Rayvone Motley, 50, of Charlotte, got in line on Remount Road about 8:40 a.m. Despite the prospect of having to wait for hours, Motley said she was pleased with the line.
“It’s awesome, awesome, just to see these supporters out here,” she said, adding that she’s glad to see all types of people in line. “It’s a mixture, just a rainbow of people, and it’s beautiful.”
Thousands of others are also in line at the location at E. W.T. Harris Boulevard.
Ticket distribution will continue until 8 p.m. Saturday. Any remaining tickets will be handed out starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.