Just six months after announcing their nominating convention in North Carolina would be shortened to three days, the organizers for the Democratic National Convention said late Monday a Labor Day festival scheduled to kick-off the event would be moved from the Charlotte Motorway into the city center.
"Our goal in hosting CarolinaFest to kick off the 2012 Democratic National Convention is to provide an open and accessible convention experience to tens of thousands more Americans," Executive Director of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee Dan Murrey said in a statement.
He added, "In order to facilitate public caucus meetings, and to maximize accessibility, transportation, and proximity of all guests - we have decided that moving CarolinaFest 2012 to Uptown Charlotte is the best way to achieve that goal."
The announcement contradicted earlier reports the festival would be canceled altogether.
The "family friendly" CarolinaFest 2012, which will be held outside and include a variety of activities and performances, will be held along Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte.
Republicans criticized the change, saying it is a further example of poor planning and coordination on behalf of Charlotte In 2012, a local non-profit putting on the unofficial event.
Republican National Convention Communications Coordinator James Davis tweeted about the change Monday, mentioning the Speedway event was "much touted" and noting the convention is only 70 days away.
But Charlotte In 2012 organizers claimed the change was only meant to help facilitate better transport for convention-goers.
"The move will make it easy for Charlotte-area residents to utilize public transportation to attend the event and provides additional economic opportunities for local businesses," Murrey said in his statement.
He added, "The Democratic National Convention will bring the attention of the nation and the world to our city and region. CarolinaFest 2012 provides an outstanding opportunity to showcase our area to visitors and give locals an opportunity to participate in the convention."
by RTT Staff Writer
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