President Donald Trump will be squarely in the spotlight Thursday as he delivers his acceptance speech to end the Republican National Convention.

Trump said on Thursday he considered delaying his speech due to the impact of Hurricane Laura, which devastated parts of southwest Louisiana overnight and into the morning.

“I was actually prepared to postpone the speech tonight and make it Monday,” Trump said during a briefing on the storm by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Trump campaign drew widespread criticism for using White House as a backdrop during the convention’s second night (including claims of Hatch Act violations). Despite that, Trump is expected to deliver his acceptance speech from a platform built on the South Lawn of the White House, a first for any sitting president seeking reelection. At least 1,500 people are expected to attend.

Amid growing protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake (including here in Philadelphia), more fencing has been erected around the White House complex. Several parks and streets surrounding the White House will also be closed to the public, a move the Secret Service said was done in “an effort to maintain the necessary security measures and ensure public safety for scheduled events at the White House on Thursday, August 27.”

Also scheduled to speak Thursday is New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the former Democrat who voted against Trump’s impeachment in December, became a Republican the next day, and pledged his “undying loyalty” to Trump.

Much like the end of the Democratic National Convention, a fireworks show is expected to follow Trump’s speech, emanating from the Washington Monument around 11:30 p.m.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the final night of the 2020 Republican National Convention:

What time does the final night of the 2020 Republican National Convention start?

The final night of the Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. Eastern and last two and a half hours.

The convention will stream live on the RNC’s website and across all their social media channels. In Philadelphia, it will also air live on NBC, ABC, CBS, and WHYY, with most networks opting to carry the final hour beginning at 10 p.m. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News will also offer live coverage starting hours before the event begins, each offering their own analysis.

Comcast Xfinity X1 subscribers can watch all the programming by simply saying “RNC” into their remote.

You can also watch live on Inquirer.com, via the Washington Post:

Who will be speaking at the RNC Thursday night?

Notable speakers highlighted by Republicans expected to take part Thursday, in no apparent order, include:

  • President Donald Trump
  • Ivanka Trump
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  • New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew
  • Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • California Rep. Kevin McCarthy
  • Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White
  • Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • Ja’Ron Smith, assistant to the president for domestic policy

Democrats will offer their own counterprogramming with Kamala Harris

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.
Carolyn Kaster / AP
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.

On the final night of last week’s Democratic National Convention, Trump spoke at a business just outside Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa., in an attempt to draw attention away from the festivities.

On Thursday, Democrats will attempt something similar with vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris. The California senator will speak in Washington, D.C., hours before Trump’s speech, where she’s expected to condemn the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Part of what I will be talking about is that they’re dealing in lies, but also they are not grounded in reality,” Harris said during a Wednesday fund-raiser, adding that Americans “want better than this, and we are better than this,” she said.

What are conventions like this actually for?

Vice President Mike Pence speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.
Andrew Harnik / AP
Vice President Mike Pence speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

While political conventions have largely grown into television events designed to promote political parties and their leaders, the business of the convention includes formally nominating the primary winner — in this case, Trump — as the party’s official presidential nominee. That roll call vote (with a reduced delegate count due to coronavirus regulation) took place in Charlotte on Monday

Another important function that usually takes place is formalizing a party platform. On Sunday, Republicans announced due to the “scaled back” convention they will adjourn without adopting a new platform. Instead, according to a new resolution, Republicans “will continue to enthusiastically support” Trump and his agenda.