Patriotic flurries of straggler confetti drifted from the high altitudes at the Wells Fargo Center throughout the morning Friday, adding to the piles of confetti blanketing the arena floor long after thousands of exuberant Democratic National Convention attendees had left the city.

While the party celebrated into the night, Wells Fargo workers using "spikes on a stick" began popping the thousands of balloons released after Hillary Clinton's speech accepting her party's presidential nomination.

By noon Friday, the chairs had been removed from the floor and dozens of venue employees and union workers scurried across what is known as the bowl, pushing equipment and sweeping the blizzard of confetti and political signs, and disassembling the stage.

"It is chaotic, but we've already gotten vast amounts of work done," said Rick Edwards, a union carpenter from Delaware, taking a break from a shift that began at 7 a.m. "I was very proud to be here, because I think a woman president is a historic need - not a want, a need."

Whatever their politics, most of the workers agreed on one thing: The DNC was the largest event they had ever had to set up - and clean up.

"We're used to cleanup," said Tim Allen, superintendent of trades for the arena, pointing out that it usually has multiple events in one weekend. But this time, he said, there's a lot more cleanup ahead.

And cleaning wasn't the only job. For two Democratic National Committee interns, the morning's task was rounding up 150 wheelchairs. "There are so many of them," Sasha Ng sighed as she pushed two into a group nestled under the stairs.

Working with her was college junior Sam Murrey, whose job throughout the convention had been to keep track of 75 golf carts.

"It's a work in progress," he said, hoping that he'd be able to round them all up.

Outside, the Streets Department was wrapping up its monumental task, which began "the moment the event ended" and was finished by the morning rush, said Deputy Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams.

"For the most part, it's back to normal routine," said Mike Dunn, a mayor's office spokesman. The only task remaining, he said, was to scrub FDR Park, where workers would wait for the nearly 200 campers who stayed there all through the scorching week to pack up.

But some of the campers on Friday were determined to stay.

David Guthrie, 35, of South Bend, Ind., was not sure how he would get home.

"I'm still figuring it out," Guthrie said. "I think maybe I'll set up a way for people to donate some money online."

Still, others at the campsite on Friday afternoon had enough.

Near the park entrance, campers stacked backpacks and boxes of food, sleeping bags, and signs as they waited for their rides to come. A wet and tattered "Bernie or Bust" sign sat beside a trash can, its letters worn and smudged after days of rain, heat, and wear.

"I'm ready and I'm tired," said 55-year-old Mary Shumay, a Sanders fan from Cleveland who camped in the park for most of the week. "It was awesome, all these people here this week."

Still, she said, she was excited for her flight home Friday night.

Miles away from FDR Park, the influx of people had not made extra work in central Philadelphia.

Some inspectors were out around the city making sure "things are clean," Dunn said, but streets workers had completed their regular overnight shifts.

"The Center City situation was pretty much what you would have on a normal night," Dunn said.

Overnight, Williams said, workers picked up 16 tons of trash and 8 tons of recycling from the venue area - a "significant" amount, but not as much as is usually collected at other Philadelphia events, such as over the July Fourth holiday. Much of the debris was political signs and water bottles.

"The event-goers . . . it was very respectful," Williams said. "They kept our city in decent shape."

Inside the Wells Fargo Center, as reporters and photographers gawked and snapped pictures from the nosebleed section, the atmosphere was calm as crews went about their business. Nearly all wore hard hats. One carpenter yelled out as he banged his shin. Another dropped a piece of equipment, shouting expletives as it fell.

After months of planning and nearly a month of fervent setup, the Wells Fargo Center has just 22 days to transform the arena into its preconvention state. Barbra Streisand will perform there on Aug. 20, and everything must be completed by the day before, Allen said.

To prepare for the Democrats' event, Allen said, tradesmen spent weeks building media suites, constructing tents, and routing internet hubs. Carpenters, he said, had pulled 4,000 seats out of the arena to make way for stages and put them in trailers. Now, they must be restored.

At the Marriott hotel at 13th and Market Streets, the official DNC merchandise shop was nearly cleaned out. With two tables of buttons and stickers and two racks of DNC T-shirts left - no more Hillary shirts - workers were selling the last of the souvenirs to departing visitors.

At a table at 13th and Filbert Street, red, white, and blue shirts with "Hillary Clinton: America's First Woman President 2016" emblazoned across them were selling at $10 each.

Wayne Nelson of Cleveland got to Philadelphia on Wednesday to peddle the tees. Friday, he was preparing to head home.

"I'm just about finished," said Nelson, 63.

He sold shirts at the Republican National Convention in his hometown earlier this month, and decided to come here not just to sell shirts but to "get a feel" for the Democrats.

"Then I could make a decision on who I'm voting for," he said.

cmccabe@philly.com

610-313-8113 @mccabe_caitlin