In 2008, at the same time the GOP was holding their convention in Minnesota, an energetic and massive Ron Paul convention titled the "Rally for the Republic" (RFR) was held across the street. The Ron Paul rally drew over 10,000 grassroots Ron Paul activists from all over the country and speakers from Tucker Carlson, to Doug Wead, to Jesse Ventura, to this year's Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
This year, Ron Paul is doing it again. Except he is hosting the Rally BEFORE the convention. A press release from the campaign was vague about the details, but called on supporters to join him at the University of South Floride before the RNC:
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul will hold a major rally with thousands of supporters ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. The event will take place at noon on Sunday, August 26th at the University of South Florida’s 11,000-seat Sun Dome. Yesterday the Ron Paul campaign signed a contract to secure the venue with the approval of the Republican National Committee. Details of the event are as follows. Time is Eastern. Sunday, August 26, 2012 12:00 p.m. Ron Paul Major Rally Sun Dome University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL 33620
The purpose of the event is not 100% clear. It could be a way to send a message to the GOP. If they don't treat Ron Paul's delegates with respect at the RNC, the Ron Paul campaign might want them to know he's got 11,000 supporters down the street ready to make a big deal about it.
In any regard, the effect the Ron Paul rally will have on the RNC is uncertain. But, love or hate him (or don't care), the Ron Paul convention is sure to be entertaining.
A recap of the 2008 Rally for the Republic was produced by Ron Paul's "Campaign for Liberty":