Host Committee Volunteers with the Republican National Convention are ready for action.
With less than two weeks left before the RNC kicks off at the Tampa Bay Times Forum the group is gearing up to be good ambassadors to the region.
Volunteer Toni Hawkins can barely contain her enthusiasm.
"It'll be something I tell my grandkids," she said Saturday at a GOP pep rally.
The event is set to draw approximately 50,000 visitors to Tampa Bay from all across the country. Organizers have spent most of the past three years planning Saturday's festivities.
The pep rally was a great way to get all Republicans organized and energized.
"If you took a spectrum of three years and put it to last 15 days we got about a half a percent to go so we're right there," explained Host Committee CEO Ken Jones.
City leaders have been working overtime to get their respective communities spruced up. From fancy bridge lights over the Hillsborough River to RNC welcome signs wherever you look, no details were too small to consider.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been a busy, busy man as the leader of the host city.
"This is our coming out party," he said. "We have our ruby red slippers on."
In addition to firing up the volunteers and civic leaders Saturday's rally also featured the finals of the Voice of Tampa Bay competition.
The top four vocalists belted out ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,' our country's National Anthem. Ryan Julian won top honors and will get to sing the song at the host committee's ‘Salute to the Military,' luncheon.
Julian was overwhelmed by his selection.
"Most of my family is or was in the military," he said. "It's always an honor to sing on any occasion."
The RNC runs from August 27 through the 29th.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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