Rain washes out DNC opening festivities - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Rain washes out DNC opening festivities

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Showers at a James Taylor concert ahead of the Democratic National Convention sent people running for cover under awnings, hotel drive ups, parking garages and covered restaurant patios.(Source: Cecelia Hanley/RNN) Showers at a James Taylor concert ahead of the Democratic National Convention sent people running for cover under awnings, hotel drive ups, parking garages and covered restaurant patios.(Source: Cecelia Hanley/RNN)
Armed with cameras, concert goers strain for the perfect shot of James Taylor at CarolinaFest2012. Unfortunately, Taylor was only able to play for 30 minutes before the rains came. (Source: Cecelia Hanley/RNN) Armed with cameras, concert goers strain for the perfect shot of James Taylor at CarolinaFest2012. Unfortunately, Taylor was only able to play for 30 minutes before the rains came. (Source: Cecelia Hanley/RNN)
Arlene McCray and her boyfriend, Lewis Lindo, are spending the week volunteering with the convention. (Source: Cecelia Hanley/RNN) Arlene McCray and her boyfriend, Lewis Lindo, are spending the week volunteering with the convention. (Source: Cecelia Hanley/RNN)

CHARLOTTE, NC (RNN) – Mother Nature likes messing with the political process.

The Republicans had Hurricane Isaac that postponed their festivities in Tampa, and late afternoon summer thunderstorm cut short CarolinaFest2012 for the Democrats.

As native North Carolinian James Taylor sang "You've Got a Friend," the skies opened up and people ran for cover under awnings, hotel drive ups, parking garages and covered restaurant patios.

Many lingered to see if the concert would continue after a rain delay, but organizers canceled the event.

Earlier in the afternoon, a burst of thunderstorms shortened Jeff Bridges' performance, but the mostly hometown crowd was back in force after a couple hours to watch Taylor perform.

"We came here three hours ago to see Jeff Bridges," said John Ponischil, of Charlotte. He and his wife, Tamara, have seen Bridges perform four times, but won't be attending the convention.

Ponischil said he came out to CarolinaFest2012 for hometown pride, but won't be attending the convention, which has opened up many events up to the public with "Community Credentials."

The Community Credentials will allow the general public to watch Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama give their acceptance speeches.

CarolinaFest2012 event serves as a Labor Day festivities for the city, but this year is also kicking off convention week activities. Although some delegates attended the concert, many were at state delegation meetings across the city.

Other Charlotte residents are taking advantage of having the convention in their city. Arlene McCray and her boyfriend, Lewis Lindo, have volunteered with the convention.

McCray said she signed up months ago, but didn't hear anything until recently because many others across the country also signed up.

"Once they realized that a plane ticket was $1,600 and a hotel room was $900, we got in," McCray said.

Many caucuses and meetings were held Monday, but Tuesday the convention will officially begin with such speakers as Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker, Sandra Fluke and San Antonio, TX Mayor Julian Castro, who will give the keynote address.

"I think everyone in this city should volunteer for this event because of the history," McCray said - no matter the political affiliation. "We may not get a chance to see something like this again."

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