Democrats attend watch party at Milwaukee County Zoo on final night of DNC

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Local Democrats gathered Thursday night, Aug. 20, to watch Joe Biden deliver his long-awaited acceptance speech.

Everyone at the Milwaukee County Zoo Thursday night probably thought they'd be watching Joe Biden speak from the convention floor, but in 2020 you've got to take what you can get. 

Cars pulled in like it was a drive-thru theater, but pretending it was a convention floor -- waving flags and honking horns in place of applause.

It wasn't exactly the DNC watch party anyone predicted.

"It's not even bittersweet, it is in some ways heartbreaking, because we wanted to show off our little big city to the world," said DNC Representative Kahary Pennebaker.

Still, the invite-only gathering of Democrats said it beat another night watching from home.

"This is probably the most exciting thing I've done in a while," said teacher Alyssa Martin.

"It is different, but I'm really grateful to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for prioritizing the safety and well-being of our community over their egos and their own campaign," said Representative Greta Neubauer (D-Racine). 

Martin, whose husband planned to volunteer at the DNC, says she knows the enthusiasm might not be the same this year.

"I've been thinking about the 2016 election and the amount of electricity I felt then, and it's not the same, there's something missing."

But she says she thinks the message a virtual convention sends will still get people out to vote.

"There's gonna be a lot of people upset we didn't get this, especially in Milwaukee, to show our city. The feeling of just being robbed from that because our federal government didn't stop coronavirus in March I think will be enough to really ignite the votes."

And even though it was a gathering of people, everything was socially distanced, cars were parked every other space, and no one was allowed out of their cars. 

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