SBD/June 26, 2012/Events and Attractions

Charlotte Motor Speedway Will No Longer Host DNC's Labor Day Festival; Event Moves Uptown

DNC organizers announced yesterday that they are "moving the much-touted Labor Day festival from Charlotte Motor Speedway to uptown Charlotte," according to a front-page piece by Smith & Washburn of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. In January, officials said that they were "shortening the convention to three days, and would forgo the traditional Monday opening for a festival at the Speedway to reach a wider audience." But yesterday evening, host committee officials said that moving the Speedway event "will provide attendees with a much stronger connection to the convention." Charlotte DNC Press Secretary Suzi Emmerling said that hosting the "CarolinaFest event along the Tryon Street corridor instead of 20 miles outside uptown makes for easier logistics." The CMS festival "had attracted little interest among correspondents planning to cover the DNC." CMS VP/Communications Scott Cooper said the staff was "very disappointed" in the decision to move the event (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/26). Meanwhile, in Tampa, Mark Puente notes a cocktail party at Tropicana Field "will jump-start the Republican National Convention on Aug. 26." The invitation-only gala "is expected to draw 20,000 people and have first-rate entertainment akin to a Super Bowl halftime show" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/26).
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