If you’re planning to be part of the masses headed to see Bernie Sanders later today at Bonney Field (1600 Exposition Boulevard), it’s time to take a deep breath and CALM DOWN.
With crowds estimated at anywhere between 5,000-10,000 (this is based entirely on random Facebook event “invite” numbers, social media chatter and honest-to-goodness guessing), it’s probably a good idea to take note of a few key rules and, also, do some smart planning – especially considering that the enthusiasm level coupled with worry over parking and frantic attempts to carpool have reached peak Burning Man/Coachella levels of frenzy.
Maybe you already know all of this but it seems like there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about what to expect when the Democratic hopeful speaks today so, a few things to consider:
Start time: Gates open at 5 p.m. according to any “official” information out there (i.e.. the Bernie Sanders website). So far we’ve also heard 3 p.m. as a possible gate time but just be warned there’s no confirmation on that so if you’re going to head over at say, noon, be prepared to stand around aimlessly.
Wardrobe tips: Actually, this is a real rule. No bags allowed. That means no purses. Translated, that means NO BAGS OR PURSES. And yes, a fanny pack is a bag. Pro tip: Wear a jacket and stuff its pockets with your phone, ID, money, etc. Comfortable shoes are recommended, too.
Signs of the times: NO SIGNS. The event pages very clearly state this so to the multiple people commenting with questions like “even though it says ‘no signs’ can I bring a sign?” –umm, no. Also not allowed: Chairs, coolers, etc.
Keep it safe: This one seems obvious, but there’ll be a security checkpoint and any object that could be considered a weapon is strictly forbidden. No sharp or heavy objects. No knives, no guns, etc.
Food and drink: No outside food or drink allowed. Here’s hoping the concession stands are open. All this hopeful democracy in action makes a would-be-voter thirsty and hungry.
Travel time: Parking at Bonney Field is $10. Or you could gather your millions of friends who are suddenly clamoring for a ride and try to arrange an Uber or Lyft caravan of sorts.
Showtime!: Sanders is not scheduled to speak until 8 p.m. Before then there’ll be live music. Actor Danny Glover will introduce the senator. No word yet on Killer Mike or a certain bird, but here’s hoping.
Got it? Good…now remember, deep breaths.