Democratic delegates plan DNC drive-in party at Suffolk Downs

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In this Sept. 22, 2014, file photo, gate crew members watch the start of a race at Suffolk Downs in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Big-name actors, from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John to Sam Neil, Jeff Goldblum and a T-Rex, have graced the the summer screen at Suffolk Downs.

But next week Hollywood will take the backseat for a night when U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Democratic Party’s newly minted nominee for vice president Kamala Harris will have top billing at the East Boston drive-in.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party plans to host a Democratic National Convention watch party at Suffolk Downs next Wednesday. While the “Ridin’ with Biden” event is primarily for the 114 delegates from Massachusetts who will no longer be traveling to Milwaukee for the convention, limited tickets are also available for purchase to the public.

“The excitement around a Joe Biden Presidency is too great for us not to do something that celebrates what the Democratic National Convention means for this country. It means the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s horrific presidency, and the restoration of decency and humanity to the White House,” said Gus Bickford, the chair of the state party.

“We are doubly excited that the day our delegates and other Democrats will be together in Boston is the day that our own incredible Senator, Elizabeth Warren, will address the Convention,” he said in a statement.

The theme of Wednesday night’s program will be “A More Perfect Union,” and it’s the night that Harris will deliver her speech accepting the party’s nomination for vice president after Joe Biden announced the California senator this week as his running mate choice.

Wednesday is also the night former President Barack Obama and the party’s 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton will address a convention that will be held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other speakers will include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Suffolk Downs set up a drive-in movie series on the grounds of the former horse-racing track, and shows movies every Thursday night. Since the series began on July 16, attendees have been treated to “Grease” and “Jurassic Park.” This Thursday, the drive-in will be screening “Just Mercy,” starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. “La La Land” will be shown next Thursday, the night Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

Local Boston food trucks will be supplying food for Wednesday night’s DNC viewing party.

For non-delegates interested in attending, a limited number of tickets are available starting at $46 per car for young Democrats under 35 and $246 per car for everyone else.

Other premium ticket packages are available starting at $500 and going up to $5,000, which comes with recognition in a commemorative delegate book, daily invitations to virtual DNC events during the week of the convention and a virtual hosting role with the delegation. All money raised will go toward the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

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