Editor’s Note: Metro World News reporter David Cordero Mercado is in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. Here’s his first person account of the scene as the delegates prepare to formally nominate Donald Trump as their presidential candidate.
Thousands of people have come from all 50 states and territories of the United States to participate in the Republican National Convention this week.
Cleveland is usually a quiet town, locals say, except for a few avenues downtown full of restaurants and bars. But this last month has been different, first with the NBA championship celebration for the Cavaliers and now with a weeklong Republican National Convention.
Close to 8 p.m. I was in a mile-long line to get into what would be the official welcome party. Behind me there was a group of men between the ages of 25 and 35. They were sharing comments about the candidates, politics and, of course, the convention. They discussed the amount of times they had attended such events when one of them said: "I've come three times and will keep coming. These conventions are like Disney with politicians."
It is perhaps a way of describing what happens surrounding a party’s convention. While inside the Quicken Loans Arena, negotiations about which candidate each delegate will vote for take place, outside the atmosphere is of celebration, just without any roller coasters.
On the streets, people walk around with sunglasses with the U.S. flag on them, with hats alluding to the convention that read "Cleveland 2016" as a souvenir, and T-shirts and badges in support of Donald Trump or extolling the rivalry with Hillary Clinton.
Inside the welcome party, several stages with Rolling Stones-like rock bands were located in different places and free food trucks and alcohol for all those present. Around 10 p.m., when the sun had gone down and people sang along to the beat of a band, fireworks started rising above Lake Erie, mostly in red, white and blue to remind you that you're not at Disney, but at the national convention of the Republican Party.