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CONVENTION OVERVIEW

WELCOME to the Maryland Celebration at the 2024 Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Throughout this overview and in the coming weeks, we will reference the Maryland Celebration. The Maryland Celebration is comprised of our Delegates, their guests, our sponsors, and everyone who registers to participate in Convention activities with the Maryland Democratic Party. The Celebration will number between 300-400 people.

 

2024 Democratic National Convention Dates

The 2024 Democratic National Convention convenes on the evening of Monday, August 19, 2024, and concludes on the evening of Thursday, August 22, 2024. The Maryland Celebration Welcome Reception will be on Sunday evening, August 18, 2024, from 8:00pm-10:00pm.

 

Registration, Fees, and Forms

Delegates and their guests must register and pay a fee to participate as members of the Maryland Celebration. The fee for Delegates is $400. This fee will be reduced by 50% if a Delegate shares a hotel room with another Delegate. The fee for guests/non-delegate members of the Maryland Celebration is $500. Completed forms and fees are due by July 15, 2024.

 

Please complete these registration forms by July 15, 2024:

 

Registered and paid members of the Maryland Celebration will be issued an Official Maryland Credential that grants access to all 14 Maryland Celebration events and Maryland transportation.

 

Delegate Costs

The cost for a Delegate to go to the Convention is between $3,000 to $5,000. The Maryland Democratic Party will not be covering expenses for Delegates. You should plan to pay for: Delegate Registration Fee, airfare, hotel, and some food and drink. Your registration fee includes a buffet breakfast every morning of the convention, a welcome reception, an architectural boat cruise and reception, and 4 post-gavel events with substantial food. You should be prepared to pay for lunch and concessions at the United Center.

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Delegates can save money by:

  • Booking your flight now.

  • Sharing a hotel room with another Delegate to reduce your registration fee to $200.

  • Bringing packaged snacks to keep in your hotel room and possibly carry into the Convention.

 

You can raise money to help pay for the costs of the Convention by asking friends and family to donate or by setting up a GoFundMe page. You do not have to establish a campaign committee to raise money for this purpose.

 

The Official Maryland Delegation Hotel: Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk

301 East North Water Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Distance to United Center: 4.6 miles

Distance to McCormick Center: 2.9 miles

Cost per Room Night: $409.73/night, which includes a 17.4% room tax

 

  • Be sure to complete your Maryland Delegation 2024 DNC Hotel Room Registration Form by July 15, 2024.

  • Delegates who do not occupy their room in the Delegation Hotel are not permitted to transfer or sub-lease their room to anyone else.

  • The hotel requires a four-night minimum stay during convention week (August 19-22, 2024).

  • Delegates are responsible for the cost of their accommodations.

  • Delegate reservations will be accepted starting July 1, and all reservations are due July 15, 2024.

  • The cost of a standard room at the Sheraton Grand is $409.73/night, which includes a 17.4% room tax.

  • The total cost for 4 nights is $1,638.92 / The total cost for 5 nights is $2,048.65.

  • Your credit card will be charged on August 7, 2024.

  • You will be required to present a credit card at check-in for incidental charges.

  • You will be required to present a photo ID at check-in.

  • Reservations will be made through Rice Consulting, MDP’s Convention Planning Team. Rice Consulting can be reached at 410-838-6355 or DNC2024@riceconsultingllc.com.

 

State Delegations assigned to the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk

 

Nine other delegations will be sharing our hotel.

Democrats Abroad

Connecticut

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

New York

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Puerto Rico

Wisconsin

 

Streeterville Neighborhood: The Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk is in Streeterville, a neighborhood in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, north of the Chicago River. The river on the south bounds it, the Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on the north and east. Thus, it can be described as the Magnificent Mile plus all land east of it. The tourist attractions of Navy Pier and Ohio Street Beach extend out into the lake from southern Streeterville. To the north, the East Lake Shore Drive District, where the Drive curves around the shoreline, may be considered an extension of the Gold Coast.

 

What should I pack?

You should pack business casual for the meetings, caucuses, and evening convention sessions and casual wear for off-hours. It is also a good idea to bring a rain jacket and comfortable shoes. The Sheraton has a swimming pool and a nice fitness facility, so you may want to bring a swimsuit and workout clothes.

● For Delegates

○ A mix of comfortable, lightweight business, and casual attire.

○ Comfortable shoes

○ Clear bag

○ Layers

○ Portable chargers

○ Maryland flag hats, socks, clothing (some Delegations have theme nights on the Floor)

 

● For the Convention Floor (2024 Prohibited Items List is Forthcoming)

○ Comfortable shoes

○ Layers, for fluctuating temperatures on the floor

○ Clear bags, expect airport-level security

○ Empty or unopened water bottles

 

Getting to Chicago, then to the Sheraton

Delegates and their guests are responsible for arranging and paying for transportation to and from Chicago. Most Delegates will fly to Chicago. At this time, the DNCC has not negotiated any special Delegate rates with airlines that service Chicago O’Hare (ORD) or Midway Airports (MDW). The DNCC has not finalized details for transportation from the airports to the Delegation Hotels. More information on the exact times, location, and transportation options for the Convention will be forthcoming.

 

Car: If you choose to drive to Chicago, please keep in mind that the Sheraton does not offer complimentary parking. Valet parking is $58/night and self-parking is $49/night.

 

Rideshare:

 

MDW to Sheraton Grand Chicago (Uber)

  • Average Price: $42

  • Average Travel Time: 29 Minutes

 

ORD to Sheraton Grand Chicago (Uber)

  • Average Price: $51

  • Average Travel Time: 43 Minutes

 

ORD to Sheraton Grand Chicago (Lyft)

  • Average Price: $32-36

  • Average Time: 45 Minutes

 

MDW to Sheraton Grand Chicago (Lyft)

  • Average Price: $35-42

  • Average Time: 40 Minutes

 

*Prices are based on the normal Ubers/ Lyfts, NOT Uber Black, Lyft Extra Comfort, or UberXL.

**Prices may change due to DNC demand.

 

Checking in at the Maryland Celebration Office

After checking in at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, 301 East North Water Street, Chicago, IL 60611, make sure your first stop is the Maryland Celebration Office, located on the Sheraton's lobby floor (third floor) in Columbus A and B.

 

Registered and paid members of the Maryland Celebration will be issued an Official Maryland Celebration Credential that grants access to all 14 Maryland Celebration events and Maryland transportation.

Maryland Office Hours:

Sunday, August 18, 10:00am-8:00pm

Monday, August 19, 9:00am-5:00pm*

Tuesday, August 20, 9:00am-5:00pm*

Wednesday, August 21, 9:00am-5:00pm*

Thursday, August 22, 9:00am-2:00pm*

 

*Office open for the exclusive purpose of distributing credentials from 9:00am-11:00am

 

The Official Maryland Celebration Program

Every registered and paid member of the Maryland Celebration will receive an Official Maryland Celebration Program. The Program will include important information including:

  • A picture and biography of every member of the Delegation

  • The schedule of events

  • MDP Officers

  • Staff names, pictures, and contact phone numbers

  • Maps to Maryland Celebration Event locations

 

Maryland Celebration Schedule of Events

The 14 Maryland Celebration events include: Sunday Night Maryland Welcome Reception, 4 Morning Breakfast Meetings at the Maryland Delegation Hotel, an Architectural Boat Tour (2 sessions) on the Chicago River, 4 Convention Watch Parties at the Maryland Delegation Hotel, 4 Post-Gavel Receptions – including the Governor’s Reception – at exclusive Chicago venues.

 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day at the Convention!

Breakfast is scheduled from 7:30am-9am, Monday through Thursday, in Sheraton Ballrooms I, II and III on the fourth floor of the Sheraton. The breakfast meeting is where key information will be shared with Delegates and members of the Maryland Celebration: the schedule for the day, changes to the schedule, transportation updates.

 

Official Democratic National Convention Credentials

Each morning at the conclusion of the daily breakfast meeting at the Sheraton, at approximately 9:15 AM, Official Democratic National Convention Credentials for that evening’s Convention Floor Session will be distributed to Delegates at the Maryland Office. The doors of the Maryland Office will remain locked until the breakfast program has concluded.

 

 

Please follow these important guidelines regarding your Official Credential:

  • Credentials will be distributed between the conclusion of breakfast and 11am each day at the Maryland Office.

  • Each Maryland Delegate to the Convention must go in person to the Maryland Office to obtain their credential.

  • To receive a credential, Delegates must bring their ID and sign for their credential.

  • Every Delegate, including members of the Congressional Delegation and other elected officials, must follow the same procedure to obtain their credentials.

  • If you don’t pick up your credential by 11am, your credential becomes property of the MDP and it will be used for party business.

  • If you lose your credential, you will not be able to obtain a replacement. Immediately notify the MDP staff who can inform the DNCC.

 

Currently, we only have information about the availability of credentials within the Delegation allotment, which is one credential for each Maryland Delegate. Historically, the MDP has been able to obtain a limited number of additional credentials and hold a daily lottery for non-Delegate members of the Maryland Celebration. We hope to do this again in 2024.

Official Democratic National Convention Credentials vs Maryland Celebration Credential

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Transportation

Transportation to and from the United Center and McCormick Place, site of plenary and caucus sessions: Delegates with DNC credentials are provided transportation between the Sheraton and the Convention (United Center) Sessions and caucus meeting/plenary sessions (McCormick Place) sites. Schedules will be established and clearly advertised in the Sheraton. Historically, a DNC credential has not been required to utilize transportation to the site of the caucus meeting/plenary sessions. We will be updating this information as it is confirmed.

 

Transportation to and from Maryland Events: The MDP will provide transportation for registered and paid members of the Maryland Celebration to and from post-gavel events. Transportation will run on a continuous loop between the Sheraton and the event from designated transportation hubs. While several of our events are within walking distance of the official Maryland Delegation hotel, transportation will be available for those who wish to utilize it and for those needing accommodation.

 

Caucuses and Plenary Sessions at McCormick Place

McCormick Place, 2301 S Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago, IL 60616, the site of caucuses and plenary sessions, is located 2.9 miles from the Sheraton. All members of the Maryland Celebration, Delegates and non-delegates, are welcome to attend Caucus and plenary sessions. An official DNC credential is not required to enter McCormick Place. During the Convention, all of the DNC caucuses and councils will generally meet twice. Other groups in the progressive ecosystem will have events such as lunches, panels, receptions, and parties. A lot of these events will be coordinated with the Host Committee, DNCC, and DNC, and will be advertised.

 

Evening Convention Session at the United Center

Convention Venue: The United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612, the site of the evening Convention sessions, is located 4.6 miles from the Sheraton. The capacity is 23,500 for convention events featuring floor seating and a stage. The evening session will typically begin at 5:00pm and end at 10:00pm, though this schedule will be confirmed. Remember that going to the Convention is like going to the airport: there will be stringent security, and everyone should plan accordingly in what they pack, and in budgeting time to get through security. We will share bag policies as they become available. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.

 

Potentially Prohibited Items at the United Center and McCormick Place (2024 Prohibited Items List is Forthcoming):

○ Aerosols

○ Ammunition

○ Animals other than service / guide animals

○ Backpacks

○ Bags exceeding size restriction 18" x 13" x 7"

○ Banners, Signs, or Placards of any type or size

○ Bicycles

○ Balloons

○ Coolers

○ Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems

○ E-Cigarettes

○ Explosives

○ Firearms

○ Glass, thermal, or metal containers

○ Laser pointers

○ Mace / Pepper spray

○ Noisemakers, such as air horns and bullhorns

○ Packages

○ Pocket knives

○ Selfie Sticks

○ Structures

○ Supports for signs and placards

○ Toy guns

○ Weapons of any kind

○ Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards

Convention Watch Parties

The Maryland Celebration will host 4 Convention Watch Parties in the Fountainview Room of the Sheraton (lobby level, 3rd floor), Monday through Thursday from 6:00pm-10:00pm. Any registered and paid member of the Celebration who is not attending that evening’s floor session at the United Center is welcome to attend. Televisions will be tuned to a live feed of the Convention and light fare will be served.

Maryland Opening Reception, Post-Gavel Events, and the Chicago Odyssey River Cruise

The Maryland Celebration Welcome Reception will be on Sunday evening, August 18, 2024, from 8:00pm-10:00pm. Post-gavel events are scheduled Monday-Thursday from 10:30pm-1:30am. The Chicago Odyssey River Cruise is scheduled for 2 sessions on Wednesday, August 21, 2024 from 11:00am-12:30pm and again from 2:00pm-3:30pm. All members of the Maryland Celebration are encouraged to attend these casual gatherings in unique Chicago venues. Food and beverages will be served, and Maryland transportation will also be available between the Sheraton and the venues.

Perhaps the most unique event of the Maryland Celebration week is the Chicago Odyssey

Architectural Boat Cruise Reception on the Chicago River. Members of the Maryland Celebration can choose to board at 10:30am for the 11:00am cruise, or 1:30pm for the 2:00 pm cruise, for a 1 1⁄2 hour tour on the Chicago Odyssey, a modern vessel that accommodates up to 200 people. Guests will be treated to captivating panoramas of Chicago’s iconic architecture and a reception of light fare and beer, wine, and soft drinks. Breathtaking views of landmarks such as the Willis Tower, Navy Pier, and the Old Chicago Post Office can be enjoyed from the comfortable interior or the open-air spaces on the Odyssey. This upscale experience on the Chicago River is complete with light architectural narration and top-notch service. Set sail for an awe-inspiring experience! The tour will board and disembark on the Riverwalk near the Sheraton.

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For more information, contact the Convention Planning Team at

410-838-6355 or DNC2024@riceconsultingllc.com.

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