There was money for barbecue, a logo design and even a night at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
But the Democratic National Convention Committee spent most of its money on salaries and payroll in the last quarter of 2011, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
With officials from both parties generally mum about how much money they've raised or spent, the FEC report offers a rare window on the costs of running a convention.
The DNCC spent $1.2 million during the last three months of 2011. Nearly 60 percent - $724,000 - went to salaries for a staff that today numbers 67.
The committee spent another $365,000 on payroll services from ADP, one of the nation's largest human resources providers and a company also used by the Republican convention.
The money is from a U.S. Treasury grant of $17.7 million awarded to each party for administering its national convention. It's not from the nearly $37 million Charlotte organizers are raising for the September event.
We've made it a point from day one to be cost-conscious and to do more with less, said convention CEO Steve Kerrigan. We're proud that we're spending almost $10 million less than what was spent in 2008, and we're doing it without cash from lobbyists, special interests and corporations.
Kerrigan earned $28,000 during the quarter. That was less than his Republican counterpart Bill Harris, CEO of the GOP's Committee on Arrangements in Tampa, who pulled in $37,000.
But Harris has a smaller staff. His organization numbers just over 30 now and expects to grow to 100. That's half the size of Kerrigan's projected staff.
It's also one reason the Republican convention committee spent just $787,000 last quarter, about $400,000 less than Democrats.
Our team brings in a collection of experience and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and do the work, said GOP convention spokesman James Davis.
Democrats spent money not only on paying their convention staff but on housing them. It paid a corporate housing firm $37,000 on housing allowances for senior staffers.
Beyond salaries, payroll administration and housing, Democratic organizers spent money for things as mundane as office supplies to rooms at Caesar's Palace for 10 staffers attending a meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs.
A New York firm was paid $1,946 for a convention logo.
For an event expected to bring around $150 million into the local economy, much of the Democrats' money was spent locally.
Organizers spent $4,700 for venues such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where they entertained visiting Democratic delegations. They spent $3,000 on catering from places such as Bubba's Barbecue and Chima Brazilian Steakhouse.
The money comes from the $17.7 million in taxpayer funds raised from voluntary $3 tax checkoffs.
And only the two major parties qualify.
No third parties are eligible since none captured at least 5 percent of the presidential vote in 2008.
Money for the Democratic and Republican conventions comes from different sources. Here's where:
The U.S. Treasury. Each convention got $17.7 million last year toward administrative costs. The money comes from taxpayer checkoffs.
Congress. Last fall, Congress awarded each city $50 million toward convention security.
Host committees. The Charlotte host committee is raising nearly $37 million for the convention under new party rules that bar individual contributions over $100,000 as well as donations from corporations and lobbyists. The money does not cover salaries.
However, the host committee is raising an estimated $15 million on top of that for hospitality costs.
There are no limits on the source of that money.