It's the political ticket of the decade. In a few hours Barack Obama will formally accecpt the Democratic Nomination from the 50-yard line of Invesco Field. Surrounded by a thousands of fans, supporter, onlookers, and curious Coloradans, the city is abuzz with anticipation, both for the Main Event and the end of the week-long Democratic National Convention.
It's been, as they say, a hell of a ride. Denver has been inundated with protestors – some with messages more stomach turning than others. Images of torture, aborted fetuses, intolerance, and all manner of fringe political ideologies have packed the streets. Legions of police officers in everything from riot gear to traffic vests have detoured traffic, directed pedestrians, and stand vigilant on street corners – constant reminders of the veritable security state that has clamped down on Denver.
As if anyone here could forget. Vast swaths of the city center are barricaded to traffic cutting off vital roads and forcing elaborate detours through an ever-shifting police and security cordon that makes cross-town travel difficult at best and an unmitigated nightmare of gridlock and immobility at worst.
And yet Denver isn't nearly as resentful or irritated as one might think. While one construction worker we spoke to (who wished to remain anonymous), expressed frustration with the Convention's "better safe than sorry" security policy, Denver, for the most part, remains upbeat and enthusiastic, heading into the final day.
Iva Lemmons, a local artist showing in a gallery on Curtis Street just a few blocks from the Pepsi Center, has been particularly pleased with the Democrats this week.
I've sold a few pieces, mostly smaller ones she said, noting that she's
had a wonderful time.
Denver residents have responded well to the Democrats' decision to open their doors this evening and the move has made significant inroads into the gulf between the convention and the city that hosts it. With three and a half hours to go until the official start of proceedings, the security line for today's grand finale stretched to the intersection of 7th and Walnut, almost a full kilometer.
For a city beset with inconvenience, Denver, it seems, is willing to endure a little more.