CHARLOTTE, N.C. (KRDO) -- Despite the pandemic, The Republican National Convention started Monday in North Carolina where only six representatives from Colorado were allowed to join.
Don Ytterberg the senior advisor for the Colorado GOP was one of those in attendance and despite the several COVI-19 precautions in place and a lot smaller of crowd, it didn't quell the excitement.
"The 336 delegates were truly amped up," Ytterberg says. What made Monday's start truly memorable, was the surprise visit from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Ytterberg says, "There was a lot of camaraderie, very upbeat as you could imagine."
The reason why Ytterberg and six others were allowed to attend the event was to vote on behalf of more than a dozen Colorado GOP delegates who were not allowed to make the trip.
"The six of us were responsible to carry the proxies for various members of the delegation who weren't in attendance," Ytterberg says. Others like first-time delegate and El Paso County GOP Chair Vickie Tonkins were sad to learn they had to watch from home.
"I don't want to say I cried, but I was at that point because this is the opportunity I've waited for," Tonkins says. She remembers what it was like at the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, Ohio. Tonkins says, "You could feel the energy in the room and when those balloons fell, oh yeah, I have souvenirs absolutely."
Of course, COVID-18 has changed all that. As for the precautions in place, Ytterberg says people were tested before they arrived and at the front door. They also had to wear masks and social distance the entire time. Even though the majority of delegates left Monday, they will still get tested.
"There will be follow up checks for all of us for the next one, two, three weeks," Ytterberg says. They also had to wear contact tracing bracelets the entire time, in case an outbreak were to occur.
President Trump will also be on hand to wrap up the convention this Thursday. He also hinted he will have some involvement each night this week.