Obama likely to skip balloon drop after nomination speech

by Ed Henry and Kimberly Schwandt

CHARLOTTE -- At political conventions, balloon drops usually produce iconic images of presidential nominees frolicking with their families in a sea of red, white and blue balloons triumphantly raining down on the arena stage.

But Democratic sources tell Fox News this is one tradition President Obama will likely now have to skip after officials at the Democratic National Convention decided to move his Thursday night acceptance speech from the 65,000-seat outdoor Bank of America Stadium to the much-smaller indoor Time Warner Cable Arena, citing weather concerns.

If you're standing on the main floor of the Time Warner center and look up, you'll notice there are no balloons caged up against the ceiling waiting to be released on Thursday night. That's because the president was supposed to deliver his remarks at the outdoor stadium, and letting out thousands of balloons into the open air would not have made any sense.

Instead officials were originally planning to dramatically launch fireworks into the sky along with reams of confetti. The fireworks obviously cannot be used indoors, and officials say it's highly unlikely they will now be able to order thousands of blown-up balloons at the last minute.

Then there's what do with Earth, Wind, and Fire as well as James Taylor and a slew of other entertainers who were supposed to command the attention of 65,000 people for almost an entire day while the crowd waited for the Obama speech.

Now those folks need to be scrunched into a much shorter indoor program -- which is going to spark a lot of last-minute tinkering.