RELEASE: Charlotte Welcomes 30,000 People to Historic CarolinaFest
Convention Kick-Off Event Welcomes Tens of Thousands of Americans to Heart of Convention Activities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 3, 2012
Contact: Suzi Emmerling; 704-444-8331; email@example.com
Charlotte, NC - Charlotte law enforcement officials estimate that roughly 30,000 people attended the historic CarolinaFest 2012 today in Uptown Charlotte. Despite the heat and rain, the mood was high in Charlotte today as delegates, members of the media, and local residents enjoyed the free, family–friendly festival. Festivalgoers enjoyed Charlotte's annual Labor Day Parade, musical acts, childrens activities, engaging exhibitions that support Mayor Anthony Foxx's legacy programs in the "Legacy Village," and food trucks and food vendors, many of which represented the Carolinas.
"I am so happy that Charlotte was able to have the opportunity to open the convention experience to tens of thousands of more people than ever before. It was great to see both local residents and convention visitors pack Uptown Charlotte streets, frequent local restaurants, experience the Legacy Village, and -- most importantly — have a great time. Uptown was certainly alive today," said Charlotte in 2012 Executive Director Dr. Dan Murrey
CarolinaFest 2012 featured two stages with live performances and speakers. The Main Stage was located at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets in Uptown Charlotte and the “Carolina Stage” was located at the intersection of Levine Avenue of the Arts and Tryon Street. The Main Stage featured Janelle Monáe, Jeff Bridges and the Abiders, Simplified, and James Taylor.The Carolina Stage featured The Blue Dogs, Chairmen of the Board, Simplified, and West End Mambo. Speakers on the Main Stage included Governor Bev Perdue, Senator Kay Hagen, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Mel Watt, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, and Charlotte in 2012 Executive Director Dr. Dan Murrey. Each speaker welcomed conventioneers to Charlotte and spoke enthusiastically about the historic opportunity that CarolinaFest offered in opening up the convention to more Americans. With the safety of festivalgoers being first priority, the final act of James Taylor ended about 30 minutes earlier than planned. The rain didn't dampen spirits, however, and guests didn't leave until it became clear that the rain would not abate.
Throughout the day, the Legacy Village provided an opportunity for conventioneers and the people of this region to see firsthand just how much this community works together to solve our greatest challenges. Over 70 individuals, organizations, and public-private partnerships will represent the spirit of the Mayor’s four convention legacy projects.
Plans for the Legacy Village included:
Mayor Foxx announced the convention’s legacy programs to help ensure that the convention leaves a positive, lasting impact on the local region. By leaving a legacy, the convention has the potential to be more than an event; it can be a galvanizing moment for citizens to pull together and work to provide a strong future for the community. The four convention legacy programs are; Healthy Children, Healthy Families; Youth Employment and Civic Education; Building a Broader, More Inclusive and Diverse Economy; and Energy, Technology, and Sustainability.
- Craftsman House United- Along with Ty Pennington, Rebuilding Together of the Carolinas, Craftsman, NextGen, Heroes at Home, a home will be built throughout the week and then given to a local veteran in need.
- Everyday Edisons Pitch Booth allowed entrepreneurs to pitch their product ideas in one of the four legacy areas with the hope that one of those ideas will be featured on the show and, that one day, an idea incubated at CarolinaFest will become a product.
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Coalition & Street Soccer USA conducted tournaments on a pop up soccer stadium and promoted their programs that combat homelessness and provide job-training opportunities.
- GenerationNation gave youth a hands-on civics lesson with activities such as ‘What’s Your Civics IQ?’, Kids’ Voting, ‘Build Your Own Campaign!’, and mock television interviews with the assistance of the YMCA.
- Discovery Place featured their high school Electric Vehicle Conversion Challenge and converted a conventional vehicle into an electric car. Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds basketball-playing robot taught participants about engineering concepts. In addition, a tornado simulator and interactive brainstorming games encouraged festivalgoers to think creatively and invent new products.
- USGBC & Habitat & Goodwill will build a LEED Registered Habitat House during Convention week that will be left as a legacy to a community member after the Convention.
- Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council- Girls Are IT! Mobile technology bus with interactive components that exposed youth to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
- Mayor's Youth Employment Program presented by Bank of America- The World of Work Wheel allowed festivalgoers to explore different industries and career opportunities. A “GameTruck” Party showcased new media, graphic design and computer science technology as potential careers for youth.
- The Smart Energy Now (Envision Charlotte) interactive kiosk depicted in real time energy usage in Charlotte and recommended how we, as individuals of a greater community, can live more sustainably.
- Festival Guests helped create Que-Os Recycled Interactive Art Sculpture made out of recycled materials.
- Friendship Trays, Friendship Gardens exhibited a community garden, displayed their recently launched Mobile Market, and put on workshops to teach festivalgoers the ABC’s of sustainable gardening.
- The Field to Fork program taught cooking and eating healthy and allowed festivalgoers to create, prep, and sample their own healthy pizzas.
- Fitness and wellness activities for youth with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Girls on the Run, Peace In Peace Out, and The NFLPA Charlotte Former Players.
- Local artists created works of art on site that will seek participation from festivalgoers. The artists created their interpretation of what it means for Charlotte to have a diverse, inclusive economy.
The Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established by the city of Charlotte to fulfill obligations of the master contract with the Democratic National Convention Committee. In addition to those obligations, Charlotte in 2012 works to engage the citizens of Charlotte and the Carolinas through business and civic opportunities, ensure that the Convention leaves a positive lasting legacy, and tell Charlotte and the region's story to the nation and the world. For more information, visit us online at www.charlottein2012.com.