South Dakota Democratic delegates are enjoying life in Charlotte, N.C., at the Democratic National Convention as they prepare to formally nominate President Barack Obama today to the November ticket.
"Sunday and Monday, we walked around a little star struck," said Holly Perli, 33, a delegate from Rapid City who is there with her twin sister, Heather Knox.
The two arrived Saturday and have seen musical acts such as John Legend and crossed paths with political television anchors such as Chris Matthews. They watched a speech Tuesday from Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
It's Perli's first convention, and she said she is surprised by the ease of access.
"If you are smart and follow the rules and go through security like you are supposed to, the access is pretty outstanding," Perli said.
The event culminates Thursday with the president's acceptance speech at the 74,000-seat Bank of American Stadium, home to the National Football League's Carolina Panthers.
The first two evenings are held inside the 20,000-seat Time Warner Arena, home to the Charlotte Bobcats professional basketball team. South Dakota's delegates will be sitting — or more likely standing — in an area directly left as a person faces the stage.
The formal nomination takes place tonight.
The 29 delegates will be a little more than 50 feet from the speakers, although they will only be able to see their backs as they talk, said state Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesseluf, who is happy with the seats.
"The best part for me is I can go to the edge of the seating and I can see the entire arena," he said.
The energy is high, he said, and he makes sure to look closely at faces as he walks around.
"I am surprised at how like last night we were walking from our party, every half block I was passing a congressmen or senator or member of the press I recognized immediately," Nesseluf said.
Perli said it has been fun being from a smaller state and telling people about Rapid City.
"If you live in South Dakota, Rapid City is the place to live," she said. "There are a lot of people who say 'I've been there' or 'I want to go there.'"