July 18, 2016
Snapshots from downtown is a brief roundup of what the D&E team is seeing, hearing and doing leading up to and during the Republican National Convention. For all posts like this, click here.
SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016
7:30 p.m.: What a way to show off Cleveland!
The official RNC events kicked off with a welcome party called “Rock the Night in CLE” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center and Voinovich Park.
A small group of protesters from Code Pink, Black Lives Matter and a few other organizations temporarily delayed guest entry into the party via a single security checkpoint at East 9th and Lakeside.
Once inside the party zone, the estimated 12,000 attendees enjoyed offerings from dozens of local food trucks, beverages and music from multiple bands, including headliner Three Dog Night. Giant puppets danced in the Rock Hall plaza. Revelers witnessed a beautiful sunset over the lake, a moonrise over the city and fantastic fireworks launched from a barge in the harbor. Conversations with delegates from Maine, Alaska, New Jersey and Georgia confirmed visitors were impressed with the event and Cleveland as a whole.
̶ Dave Loomis
MONDAY, JULY 18, 2016
8:30 a.m.: The RNC Host Committee has set up two information booths in the Cleveland Huntington Bank Convention Center to welcome and serve the thousands of journalists in town. Media covering the event, including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN and more, can find quick facts, story ideas, experts or answers about Cleveland ̶ and even some local snacks and drinks. Journalists from across the nation and around the world have been gathering information about our city as they come to and from their work stations in the convention center.
Media relations professionals have been staffing the booths voluntarily and are partnered with a concierge from Destination Cleveland, the city’s travel and tourism bureau, who offers tips on where to eat and what to do while here.
̶ Amy McGahan
Noon: The line of credentialed delegates, guests and media waiting to enter the Q’s security zone snaked half-way down East 4th Street. Vendors selling hats and buttons have set up tables while supporters of niche causes and protesters wander among the masses, yelling out on corners or finding high ground from which to display their signs.
Bright green bicycles have appeared at key locations as part of a new bike-sharing program managed by Cyclehop and sponsored by University Hospitals. Food trucks lined Superior Avenue inside Public Square.
Police, in groups of five or six, patrolled the convention area and actively engaged with civilians. Particularly visible were the 100 troopers from the Indiana State Police who were seen posing for photos or shaking hands as passers-by thanked them for their service.
̶ Dave Loomis
1:45 p.m.: Protests were visible from the Dix & Eaton offices as a hundred or more people gathered in a tightly packed group moving slowly past the Terminal Tower’s main entrance, turning the corner to head down Ontario.
Police on bikes flanked both sides to protect the protesters, while officers on foot led the way and directed them along the street. Reporters snapped photos, shot video and conducted on-the-fly interviews. The pack eventually turned onto Carnegie Avenue, filed past the security checkpoint entrance for the Q and continued east. All appeared peaceful.
̶ Dave Loomis