DNC Moves CarolinaFest From Speedway To Uptown

Aug 24, 2012

Back in January, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman made a big announcement about the Monday festivities leading into the DNC convention. "Our friends at the host committee are inviting families across the Carolinas, Virginia, and the South to come to Charlotte Motor Speedway to celebrate Labor Day and to continue the conversation that President Obama started four years ago," she said. Now they've shifted gears. They've announced the party will be moving Uptown. DNC host committee chair Dan Murrey announces the Labor Day festival change in the shadow of the Bechtler Museum of Art. Photo: Tanner Latham At the corner of Tryon and MLK Uptown, DNC host committee chair Dan Murrey is attempting to paint a picture to describe CarolinaFest. "Just imagine looking behind us and seeing delegates, media, and other guests and people from throughout the Carolinas, Virginia, and the Southeast here on the streets of Uptown Charlotte celebrating the Carolinas and celebrating what we're about here as a community," says Murrey. But this painting had a much different backdrop as late as yesterday when the family-friendly festival was located at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now, instead of being at the Speedway, the event will be held along Tryon Street. Speculations are swirling about the reasons for the move, chiefly fundraising shortfalls by the committee. Murrey denies that's the case. "The budget was not the primary reason for this," he says. He says it's about logistics. Moving delegates back and forth from the Speedway that day was proving to be more of a challenge than originally anticipated. Scott Cooper is with the Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We're certainly disappointed," says Cooper. While Cooper says the staff had been working hard to prepare for the event, he is quick to couch his disappointment with a positive spin. "We know that we're still going to have thousands of people that week that will come see us, many of those probably for the very first time," he says. Cooper says the Speedway is in negotiations with about a half dozen DNC-related events the week of the convention, but none have been confirmed yet.