Delegates Receive A Grand Welcome At The Mint Museum
The Democratic National Convention officially kicked off Sunday night with welcoming events for delegates. States were grouped together and the 6,000 delegates were scattered in twelve different venues across the city. DNC organizers say spreading out the delegates would allow delegates to expand business opportunities across the city. From the NASCAR Hall of Fame to Discovery Place, delegates got to experience a little bit of Charlotte while meeting other delegates.
At the Mint Museum in uptown, delegates from Illinois, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Ohio gathered for their meet-and-greet. There seemed to be a theme ...
Illinois and Hawaii? Obama has lived in both. Pennsylvania and Delaware? Biden was born in Delaware and moved to Pennsylvania.
Ohio? We're not sure about Ohio, but Cathina Hourani doesn't think it matters.
"Our job is to get Obama re-elected to the presidency!" Hourani says. "It's going to be some hard work, but we can do it."
She's a delegate to the 8th Congressional district of Ohio and took the bus from Liberty Township Ohio to get to Charlotte.
At the welcoming event at the Mint Museum Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx addressed the crowd. Jack Markell, the governor of Delaware, was impressed.
"The people of Charlotte and certainly the mayor has things well prepared and I know it's a lot of work, so we're grateful to them for welcoming us so nicely," Markell says.
On the fifth floor of the museum, delegates were served cocktails, beers, ice cream and Southern appetizers like golden ham biscuits and pork sliders.
Obama-Biden pins were sold in one corner and you could get an airbrushed tattoo that says "Charlotte in 2012" in another corner.
More than 80 dancers and musicians performed during the reception - including the West Charlotte High School Marching Band and the Cheer Extreme. Another state dance group, The Sims Country Cloggers, performed the official state dance of North Carolina during the event.
Nicole Betourney, a pastry chef and delegate from Palos Heights, Illinois, says she's already fallen in love with the city.
"Charlotte's beautiful. It's so clean and everybody's unbelievably friendly," Betourney says. "Everybody goes out of their way to help you and smiles at you no matter what. I love it, I'm coming back for sure."