Partying, with a purpose - FOX 13 News

Partying, with a purpose

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 13) -

The DNC officially begins on Tuesday. That was a decision made in part because of the Labor Day holiday.  However, Florida's delegates didn't exactly take the day off -- Many of them attended Carolina Fest.

It looked like an end-of-summer street party, but the crowd had something in common.

"It is more than a party. It's about awareness," said delegate Rose Allaire.

Carolina Fest is a place for delegates, and anyone else who wants to join, to celebrate the DNC.

"The day before the true convention starts. So this is the pre-party. As you can see, it's well attended," Allaire said.

"As you walk down the street, the energy is radiant," offered delegate Claire Healfman.

The main stage with James Taylor and Jeff Bridges drew a crowd. So did the politics, partisan photo ops, and a chance to send a postcard to President Obama.

"I said I wanted to be a president," said Scarlett Law.

For volunteers it's a chance to welcome the nation, just like Tampa did.

"The RNC yeah, I know. I watched some of that coverage on television so I know you guys had a lot going on down there," said Charlotte volunteer Corey Siegl.

"You can just tell a sense of camaraderie out here, a similar cause and people just feel good to be out there," said Duncan Paddick.

It's also a chance to be heard politically.

"One of the nice things about having an event like this especially kicking off the DNC is everybody gets together,

"The security is a little looser and people have the chance to voice their concerns on the national stage," added protester Nikki Redman.

"What happens is you walk along, the delegates see you and they don't really know where you're from, but they say hi I'm from North Carolina, hi I'm from Texas, hi I'm from Oklahoma," said Healfman.

Different delegates from different states with one goal.

"To make sure that Barack Obama can continue to finish what he started," said delegate Tim Paulson.

That's the spirit of Carolina Fest.

"That's what we're doing in Charlotte. Happy Labor Day everyone," Paulson added.

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