Friday, September 5, 2008

McCain to the Cumberland?

(It's here, too.)

Republican presidential candidate John McCain could go from last night’s stage in St. Paul, Minn., to the banks of the Cumberland River in just over a month.

A Miss.-based event production company filed a permit application late last week to use Riverfront Park on Oct. 6 and 7 for a “debate watch party and rally” including an appearance by McCain. The town hall-style presidential debate at Belmont University is Oct. 7.

“It’s essentially approved on our end,” said Curt Garrigan, assistant director of Metro Parks. “It will have to require coordination with the mayor’s office.”

The fee for using the park is around $1,000 per day, Garrigan said.

Cross-Ables LLC, an event production company in Oxford, Miss., submitted the application Aug. 29, Garrigan said. Warren Ables, a managing partner with the company, didn’t want to comment on the application until “things get more concrete,” he said.

According to the application, event setup would begin around 8 a.m. on Oct. 6 and the party and rally would be held from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 7.

“Entertainment for the event will consist largely of a large scale video presentation of the televised debate from Belmont University,” the application reads. “The event will also likely have a musical act immediately following the debate and before the appearances of Senator John McCain.”

Marilyn Edwards, director of special events for Mayor Karl Dean’s office, said she had received the application and was in the beginning stages of handling the request. Events of that size typically require input from Metro police and the public works department, she said, especially if street closures are involved.

“Almost everything that happens at Riverfront Park … the special events committee gets into the mix,” Edwards said. “It depends on what’s going on and who’s involved, but it’s a standard process.”

Edwards and Garrigan said they had not received any requests from the Obama campaign. A spokesman for the McCain campaign did not immediately return a call Friday morning.

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