Pepsi Center Transformed

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Allyson Malecha writes, Thousands of people all across the country are talking about this year’s Democratic National Convention…

Thousands of people all across the country are talking about this year’s Democratic National Convention, but few will get to actually see it. I was one of those few. I saw the fully decorated Pepsi Center before any of the delegates arrived at the convention. Along with the youth reporters that were privileged to go, many schools from across the state went as well. The youth reporters were able to interview other students about how they felt taking place in our state. I interviewed Cristina, a 5 th grader at Force Elementary, about the convention. She said, “I just think it is really cool because they changed everything.” That statement is true. The Pepsi Center was nearly unrecognizable as the home of the Denver Nuggets and Avalanche. The stage itself is extravagant beyond belief. It has three large televisions to see the speaker from every angle. Above the televisions, are screens with stars and the words DNC 2008. The seating area above the floor and stage contain filming studios for news shows such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, and PBS. The floor is also setup with two states closest to the podium and stage. These states are, of course, Colorado and Senator Obama’s home state, Illinois.The events happening at the convention are amazing as well. The theme of the entire convention is “Bringing Everyone Together”. To do this, they have a speaker every night. On the first evening, Monday, Michelle Obama is speaking. On Tuesday, the keynote speaker is a senator from Virginia, Jim Webb. On Wednesday, the Secretary of the Democratic Party, Alice Travis Germond is going to call the roll of states. The roll of states is when all states are called to the podium where they read the vote. The secretary repeats it, and, if correct, another state is called. There are about 4,440 delegates for the whole convention. The largest amount of delegates is California, with 553 delegates. The farthest away is Guam. The youngest delegate is 17. (The delegates must turn 18 by Election Day.) On Thursday, the convention is going to Invesco Field, where 70,000 people from around the nation will hear Senator Obama speak. Alice Travis Germond is excited for the convention because more democrats voted in the 2008 primary than ever in the history of the party, so she has an optimistic outlook for the DNC.As people from around the nation (and some U.S. territories) gather in Denver for the start of the convention on Monday at 3:00 p.m., we will see how amazing this opportunity is and how lucky we are to have it all right here in Denver. Being the host for such an important national event is truly an honor. The 100 year anniversary of the last Democratic National Convention in Denver will be a remarkably astounding event.

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