More than 2,000 delegates packed the Quicken Loans Arena to rally behind Donald Trump and his campaign for president. Suspense built inside and outside the arena for Trump to accept the party's nomination Thursday night.
The crowd chanted "USA, USA" as Trump stood before the Republican party, formally accepted the nomination and went on to say safety will be restored in America.
Ivanka Trump introduced her father and said he will bring "real change, the kind of change we have not seen in decades."
"When my father says he will make America great again, he will deliver," Ivanka Trump said.
Kathi Creed sat in the rafters and called the speeches “electric” as she cheered while sitting next to strangers. Her husband is an alternate delegate and sitting elsewhere in the arena.
“I didn’t know what to expect when we got here,” said Creed of Northeast Ohio. "So many things we are frustrated with and (Trump’s) just speaking to those frustrations."
Creed said she will help campaign for Trump post-convention. The party unity is apparent, she said.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona spoke to the crowd and said he's supporting Trump because he’s a “leader.” Applause erupted when Pastor Mark Barnes of South Carolina declared that all lives matter under a Trump administration. PayPal founder Peter Thiel stood at the podium, shared he was gay and encouraged America to vote for Trump.
As the lineup of speakers rotated on stage, and the delegates danced in the aisles, Clevelander Cassandra Franklin sat outside at an entranceway in a small blue lawn chair. Dozens of police officers were on guard as protesters argued for and against the police, and preachers expressed opposing views about Jesus.
“I love it. I can’t get enough of it and I don’t want it to end,” said Franklin. “This is the best show on Earth. It’s like 10 circuses going on at once... I thank them for coming.”
Franklin chatted with Alysia Tambourides and her mother Leslie Sawyer as they waved a Trump flag and took pictures with others on the street. Tambourides said the duo drove 20 hours from Houston just to stand outside and show their support for Trump.
“(He’s) no nonsense, not holding anything back and tough,” Tambourides said of Trump.
Democrat Bob Kunst traveled from Miami Beach to show his support for Trump and says he will also travel to the Democratic National Convention next week too. Kunst sat along 4th Street for hours wearing a Hillary Clinton mask and holding a sign suggesting Clinton go to prison.
“I know I'm not going to get anything out of Hillary, maybe I will out of Trump,” Kunst said.
Ann Marie Villicana stopped to take photos of the Trump buttons on display outside the convention. The Los Angeles native said she admired Trump’s children and hoped her own three children grow up to be like them one day.
While the GOP came together to celebrate Trump's nomination in Cleveland, not all Republicans were behind the nominee. Ohio Governor John Kasich did not attend the convention. After Trump's speech, Meghan McCain tweeted, "The party I was a part of is dead."