Atlanta becomes the center of the American political universe this weekend as 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gather here for the RedState Gathering at the Intercontinental Buckhead on Peachtree Road.
The gathering, named after the conservative political website, is the brainchild of WSB Radio host Erick Erickson. It’s a three-day convention of top GOP elected officials, 700 activists, 150 journalists and begins this evening — concurrent with the first major debates of the 2016 presidential campaign. Tickets for the gathering are sold out.
It’s not just presidential candidates speaking. A number of governors and other Republican luminaries will appear, all sandwiched around panels on topics such as The Power of Twitter and civil asset forfeiture. See the full agenda here.
Donald Trump has been uninvited from the event. Erick Erickson rescinded Donald Trump’s invitation to speak on Saturday night because of new comments about Megyn Kelly. Read the blog post here.
Here’s what you need to know:
The action kicks off with a reception and a couple panels but the highlight of the day is a a debate-watching party from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. p.m. today at the nearby Grand Hyatt.
Friday’s schedule of presidential candidates:
10:30 a.m.: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
11:30 a.m.: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry
1:30 p.m.: Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
3:30 p.m.: Former CEO Carly Fiorina
4:30 p.m. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
Saturday’s schedule of presidential candidates:
9 a.m.: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
11:30 a.m.: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
1:30 p.m.: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
4:30 p.m.: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Business mogul Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at the RedState Tailgate, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.
Where to people watch:
Bourbon Bar inside the Intercontinental Buckhead
Onyx at the Grand Hyatt
Prime at Lenox Square Mall
Whiskey Blue at the W Buckhead
Buckhead’s already notorious traffic will likely be worse Friday as the presidential candidates, their entourages, 150 credentialed media and 700 activists make their way to the Intercontinental, which is at 3315 Peachtree Road, near Lenox Square, at the corner of Peachtree and Highland Drive.
Saturday could see similar congestion at the hotel and that night downtown near the College Football Hall of Fame.
How to keep up:
Follow the RedState Gathering action live by adding the AJC on snapchat (username: AJCnews) and keep an eye on our Twitter (@AJC and @GAPoliticsNews) for links to our Periscope feeds and updates throughout the weekend.
We’ll be bringing you speech highlights, one-on-one interviews with candidates, commentary from our political reporters and, of course, scenes from the event — including Saturday night’s tailgate with Trump.
The AJC will provide blanket coverage through the weekend right here on the Political Insider blog
The official hashtag for the event is #RSG15.
The entire event will livestream at RedState.com.
Check out the rest of our recent RedState stories: