DNC: What to expect | VailDaily.com

DNC: What to expect

Andrew Villegas
Greeley Tribune Correspondent
Vail CO, Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” For the last 100 years, Colorado has steered clear of a major party conventions, maybe for a reason.

DENVER, Colorado ” Conventions bring protesters. Protesters bring traffic. Traffic brings politicians. Politicians bring journalists.

People don’t really like any of those things.

So, of course, there will be those things in abundance this week.

The Air and Army National Guard also will be around ” don’t freak out, a release says it’s common protocol ” to provide support to local officials if needed.

Also, if you get arrested, prepare to be treated like cattle.

You’ll be herded into chain-linked holding cells in a warehouse, where you could stay for hours while officials wait to fingerprint and release you after you post bond.

David Delgado, chairman of the Weld County Democrats, said he expects it to be crowded and “crazy packed” in Denver, but he also thinks the Democratic Organizing Committee will keep things moving well.

“They’ve given people ample warnings,” Delgado said. “They’re prepared to accommodate.”

Chris Lopez, spokesman for the DNC Host Committee, said Sunday morning that he’d been in downtown Denver all day and that everything seemed like a normal Sunday.

“It’s easy to get in and out,” Lopez said. “It doesn’t feel that congested at all.”

Lopez said the number of events and things for people to do is going to impress a lot of people who come to the Mile High City.

Denver is “set up well in terms of how the grid is set up,” Lopez said, referring to how traffic flows in the city. “People seem to be pretty impressed with Denver.”

Streets around the city will also be closed including parts of Speer Boulevard, Auraria Parkway and Bannock Street. On Thursday, Interstate 25 from Interstate 70 to Sixth Avenue will be closed for Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Also headache-inducing: No light rail from the Pepsi Center or Union Station stops, except for Thursday when you can get off at Union Station.

The bus will run as normal, but routes on closed streets will mean detours and long, crowded rides.

Monday: DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, former President Jimmy Carter, Michelle Obama.

Tuesday: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday: Former President Bill Clinton, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sens. Evan Bayh, John Kerry, Ken Salazar and Joe Biden, Obama’s vice presidential pick.

Thursday (at Invesco): Former Vice President Al Gore, Gov. Bill Ritter, Sen. Barack Obama.

Check back to http://www.vaildaily.com/DNC for more about Denver’s Democratic Convention in the coming days.

Or, go to http://www.fortcollinsnow.com/SECTION/DNC&ParentProfile=1054 for more from Fort Collins.

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