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uptownliving

Rally in Raleigh

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I drove up to Raleigh yesterday for the Kerry Edwards rally on the campus of my alma mater, NC State University. I went with a couple friends. We parked over by the Student Health Center and walked over to the rally at the Court of North Carolina. Just before we got to the Court we ran into a bunch of TV Satelite trucks. I counted 10 Satelite trucks. Most were from local stations in the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte. However CNN was there as well as NBC News (MSNBC)...Did not see a Fox News Channel Truck.

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They split the event into 3 ticketed areas. Red, White, and Blue. Unfortunately we had white tickets, which meant we had to stand waaaayyyy in the back. Just outside the secure area was a group of people doing thai chi between Watagua and Leazar.

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We got to the rally at 3:30...an hour before the scheduled rally was to start. I was expecting a good turnout for the rally. But this crowd really stunned me...it was just huge...here is the crowd an hour BEFORE anything started:

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Police estimated a crowd of 19,000...but for anyone who has been to Alltell Pavilion or Verizon Wireless ampitheatre...you know those places hold about 19,000...and I don't see all these people fitting into either of those places. Event orginizers estimated 25,000...I would not be surprised if it was closer to 30,000.

In any case, it was a huge turnout. The largest political rally in NC history. Keep in mind it was also HOT and HUMID...People were seeking shade under the trees and sitting in monkey grass to keep cool. Seeing this pic reminds me of Peoples Park in Berkley, CA. If any of you have been there...you know what I mean ;-)

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Supposedly they handed out 20,000 free bottles of water. But I did not see any back where we were. I did see empty boxs that used to have bottled water though. LOL. They also had people walking around with misters...misting everyone. Everyone was just sweating so much their shirts were drenched and looked like they had taken a shower with their shirts on.

There is the camera stand for the media. They were positioned to be close to the stage....so they were not able to get a good shot of the crowd that was there.

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Things finally got started at 4:30...they went through a lot of boring speakers. The most boring was Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. She is the old lady you may have seen in those TV ads falling over herself while she tries to slam a bank vault door shut. Also they were having sound problems...so people in the back could not hear and they were chanting "We can't hear!!" I think this is a pic of Congressman David Price speaking. Notice how docile everyone is. For reference there were a couple thousand people behind me not in this pic. David Price is to the left of the big American flag on the stage in the blue shirt. We were so far away we could barely make out who was speaking.

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As the event went on the skys started to rumble. The thunder was actually pretty loud. It stoped the speakers in mid-sentance. Luckily it did not start raining till after the rally. But the crowd was getting VERY anxious to get on with the rally and hear Edwards and Kerry speak.

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FINALLY, the moment arrived when Edwards got up on stage. The crowd went wild. Sorry for the crappy pic...but I had to use 10X Zoom and I was way way far away and did not have a tripod.

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Kerry got up to speak after that and surpisingly was not as boring as I remember him. He really seemed energized. After Kerry spoke, the rally was over and everyone left. We walked back to the studnet health center to get the car....which was smart. We did not get stuck in the parking decks.

After the rally we drove over to Glenwood South and had dinner at Rockford (love that place!). We drank LOTS of water and had a great dinner. I wanted to get a pic of Glenwood South, as I like that area, but there was a storm coming in. Maybe next time.

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Guest donaltopablo

Despite the fact that I'm not cheering for Kerry to win in the fall, I still an impressed and glad to see this. Public rallies supporting beliefs is a great way to express freedom of speech in a proper manner. Even if I don't agree with what's being said, more power to them.

I also agree these seem rare in the SE. It usually takes a large collection of popular artists performing to draw 300,000 people out in cities three times the size of Raleigh in the south :)

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Nice pics, uptownliving. I'm a NC Stater too. I wanted to go to that rally but I had to work. One of my friends managed to get a press pass to it.

It looks weird with all those satellite trucks over by Riddick

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