Meanwhile, the content of the program is
what Dredd said people will remember most.
“It was about leadership and had an
intentional focus on themes each day: uniting the party, shared values, the contrast
between our party and the other party, and
the security of the country,” he said.
It wasn’t until the evening when the
simulated glass ceiling broke and Hillary
Clinton appeared that you realized history
was being made,” he added.
The other major venue of the DNC, the
recently expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center, hosted part of PoliticalFest and
was the site for media credentialing, press
briefings, caucus meetings and other events.
Meeting rooms at the Pennsylvania Convention Center were converted to offices for
the staff of the DNC, and rooms were prepped
for caucus and council meetings, breakfasts
and special events. Prior to the convention,
the center implemented technology upgrades
and new sustainability features to seven meeting halls, 82 rooms and the newly dedicated
Michael A. Nutter Theatre.
Mary Ann Torres, director of event
services at the convention center, said that
while there were obstacles, planning and
executing the event went quite well.
“The main challenges on my end as an
event manager were keeping up with the
many pop-up events that come with a
political convention,” she said. “I would
get a call or e-mail from my counterpart
on the DNC Commit-
tee, for example, that
the Bernie Sanders
campaign wanted to do
a rally. Another time,
Elizabeth Warren came
by to give a presentation
for 1,200. But we all rose
to the occasion for those
pop-up events, which
Managing the crowds, safety and security
was of utmost importance, Torres added.
“The Sanders event was set for 1,800, and
our ballroom reached capacity,” she said.
“People were standing on chairs and the
doors were bursting, so we were monitor-
ing everything carefully.”
Roughly 10,000 to 15,000 people attend-
ed events in the center during the DNC and
nearly 80 events were held.
Two highlights, according to Torres, were
a Home Away from Home area, designed
for delegates not staying in nearby hotels,
and PoliticalFest, which completely transformed one of its halls.
“Home Away from Home, sponsored by
Comcast, was very well attended,” she said.
“It was the first time we’ve done something
like that. We had lounges, places where you
could charge your phone and work on your
laptop, and bar, refreshment and food areas.”
Coordinated by the 2016 DNC Host
Committee, the PoliticalFest portion took
place in Hall F with an
exhibit entitled Politics
and You! The exhibit
focused on American
presidents, with an
Oval Office replica, Air
Force One fuselage and
Aside from the con-
vention center, Political-
Fest, celebrating political history, govern-
ment and the road to the White House, took
place at the following locations: National
Constitution Center, National Liberty Mu-
seum, Philadelphia History Museum at the
Atwater Kent, Library Company of Philadel-
phia, Historical Society of Pennsylvania and
Heritage Center at the Union League.
LeapStarr Productions, a diverse, wom-
an-owned event production, design and
fabrication company, was contracted to
“These exhibits embody
the host committee’s
commitment to inclusion
throughout its convention planning efforts and
reflect the diversity of our
nation and its history,”
said former Pennsylvania
Gov. Ed Rendell, chair
of the Philadelphia 2016
Host Committee, during a
The LUCK of the Irish
Atavern might seem an unlikely place to host a nationally televised morning talk show for a week, but
McGillin’s Olde Ale House isn’t just any
tavern. It’s the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia, circa 1860.
Tucked into a historic pocket of town
two blocks from City Hall and oozing with
old-school character, McGillin’s was chosen as the set of MSNBC’s Morning Joe for
six days during the 2016 DNC.
McGillin’s is no stranger to famous
folks, and the week of the DNC was
certainly no exception, according to Chris
Mullins, who has owned the establishment
with his wife, Mary Ann, since 1993, when
they purchased it from her parents, who
had owned it since 1958.
“McGillin’s has been known to have famous people come through—Will Rogers,
Tennessee Williams, the Marx Brothers,
the list goes on—but none as famous as
the vice president of the United States,”
Joining hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika
Brzezinski, Willie Geist and native son Chris
Matthews, Vice President Joe Biden was
one of the many guests on Morning Joe
that week, along with Philadelphia Mayor
Jim Kenney and several other politicians.
Meanwhile, other notables, delegates from
across the country and visitors from around
the world partook of the DNC-themed food
“Meeting Vice President Joe Biden, who
I have admired for a long time, was a highlight,” Mullins said. “Madeleine Albright—
my wife and I are big fans—was another.
“It was nice to be challenged logistically
because it forced us to operate 24 hours a
day,” Mullins added. “We fed the staff and
talent of Morning Joe, plus all of the guests
and patrons. It was a lot of extra work but a
McGillin’s accommodates groups
of up to 300. For more info, visit www.
DONKEYS ABOUT TOWN ART EXHIBIT
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ON MORNING JOE PHILADELPHIA MAYOR JIM KENNEY
CHECK OUT THE DNC
STORY IN THIS MONTH’S
DIGITAL EDITION OF
MEETINGS TODAY AND
COM FOR A VIDEO WITH
JULIE COKER GRAHAM,
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF
THE PHILADELPHIA CVB.