Sunday, August 24, 2008

Amusing times at the DNC

Guess where I got to go last night?
A journalist friend got me a of couple tickets to the Democratic National Convention's media party at Elitch Gardens, a big amusement park in the middle of Denver, next to the Pepsi Center, where the convention will be held. This is probably the closest I'll get to Obama all week. The guy above was painting the portrait as we watched.

The party was not just for media, but for the delegates and VIPs and anyone else who could wrangle a ticket. There were a lot of hangers-on like us; people whose friends or spouses work in media or PR or politics or hospitality. Hospitality was the operative word of the evening.
Free mojitos! Or cosmos, or wine. Lots of great food, too.

And friendly people! I went with my friend Beeb, who is a lot more celebrity-savvy than me. While I'm a lot bolder with my camera (especially since she forgot hers). It was a combination that worked in her favor. "Look! There's the governor!" she'd say, or, "Hey, it's the mayor!"
Picture time! That's Beeb with Gov. Bill Ritter on the left, and Mayor John Hickenlooper on the right. They were good sports.

Later we saw them on the stage (with Sen. Ken Salazar and City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, chairwoman of the DNC Host Committee), welcoming everyone.
While they were talking, all the photogs rushed up close to the stage to take pictures and video. So I trotted up there, too. Why not? It was fun to take pictures of the picture-takers.

After the speeches were over, the lights went down and the Flobots came on stage. They're a local band, and play a mix of classical and hip-hop. They are involved in a lot of activism, too. Good music!

Note all the lit-up cellphone screens. Barb was saying, "It used to be lighters."
Then we headed out to the midway. There were acrobats from Cirque du Soleil all over doing mini-performances, and the midway games were giving away prizes freely. Some people were hauling around huge stuffed animals. I opted for a goofy pink monkey that would fit in my bag, at the booth where they try to guess your age (and not very convincingly).

But Beeb really wanted to go on the rollercoaster.
Here's a blurry shot of our feet as we go up. It's called the Mind Eraser, and you are suspended under the track, with your feet dangling, and at some points you are upside-down. This is the only shot I got, because HOLYSHIT! it is insane! I nearly lost my glasses, so I spent the whole ride trying to hang onto them by one earpiece and screaming my head off.
Then we rode the Tower of Doom, a much simpler set-up that drops you in free-fall for a split second. I left my bag, shoes and glasses on the ground for this one. It's totally awesome.

Then I had some cotton candy and another drink.
Everyone we met was having a great time. There were people from all over the country, including these two delegates from Detroit, all shwagged out.
After the crazy rides, I wanted something a little mellower. The ferris wheel appealed.
We rode it with a couple of students who were doing volunteer work at the DNC. The view was great! From the swaying car this was the best shot I could get with a long exposure.
When we landed, it was time to head home again. I was glad we had taken light-rail and didn't have to drive. I confess I'm a little hungover today! But it's a good hangover.


  1. Simply Wow!

    I'm pea green with envy...unlike the indescribable green I'm sure your good hangover feels. I hope you have a greasy brunch at Pete's University on your schedule today.


  2. So how were the mojitos from the bottle?

    I can't do rides anymore, it's sad but they just make me sick.

  3. What a hoot it was! thanks again! It was VERY difficult to wake and go to work this morning though - YUCK.
    And MomTaxiJulie - the mojitos from the bottle were surprisingly good! umm... a little too good perhaps.

  4. How cool!!!!! My good friend is at the DNC right now - in from London (he's a yankee, though, just living abroad for now). He's coming to chill with us when it's over, but now I'm feeling that twinge of jealousy seeing all the fun you are having with like-minded folks :) :) :) I am so there on the rollercoasters and cotton candaaaaaaay!

  5. Darn. Now I'm sorry I didn't go! I'm volunteering, and my credential would have gotten me in -- no ticket wrangling required.

    Claire @

  6. That does look fun (minus the roller coaster for me)! I spent most of the day wandering around downtown. Holy COW are there a lot of people in Denver right now! Quite bustling --and hot this afternoon-- but a good time!

    (I was skeptical, but the Green Frontier Fest in the Sculpture Garden by the DPAC is actually really interesting.)