RNC schedule: Major speakers, events and when Trump will accept the nomination

The Republican National Convention opened its doors on Monday – meaning Donald Trump, just days after he survived an attempted assassination, will this week officially become the party’s 2024 presidential nominee to take on Joe Biden.

The twice-impeached convicted felon breezed through the GOP primary races, beating out competitors and amassing far greater than the required number of delegates he needed to secure the nomination.

Now, from July 15 to 18, Republican lawmakers, delegates, and other party figures will descend on the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to officially crown Trump as their nominee and see the former president declare his chosen running mate.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming convention – such a hot ticket in GOP circles that even Melania Trump might turn up.

Who are the major speakers?

The RNC has now released a detailed schedule of speakers, with this year’s line up including Trump family members, conservative celebrities, MAGA-adjacent representatives and senators, and ex-Trump cabinet members from his single term in White House between 2017 and 2021.

From the Trump clan, in addition to the man himself, Donald Trump Jr, the latter’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and RNC co-chair Lara Trump will all be speaking, with Don Jr addressing the crowd on Wednesday, just before vice-presidential contender JD Vance – a piece of scheduling regarded as good news for the latter’s veep prospects.

Among the “celebrities” expected to speak is model Amber Rose, former girlfriend of troubled rapper and one-time Trump ally Kanye West, as well as Tucker Carlson, evangelist Franklin Graham, country singer Lee Greenwood, and UFC boss Dana White, as well as Vivek Ramaswamy and Trump lawyer Alina Habba, who both sort-of count as stars in this universe.

The Republican senators on show include Katie Britt, Tom Cotton, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Vance, Tim Scott, Marsha Blackburn and Ron Johnson.

Their House counterparts putting in an appearance include Mike Johnson, Steve Scalise, Elise Stefanik, Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Byron Donalds, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Nancy Mace and Ronny Jackson.

State governors Ron DeSantis, Doug Burgum, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kristi Noem and Greg Abbott will all be there too, as will such other miscellaneous conservative favorites as Newt Gingrich, Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pompeo, Peter Navarro and, contrary to earlier reports, Trump’s erstwhile primary enemy Nikki Haley.

What’s the theme?

In tribute to the host city, famous for its breweries, the GOP will reportedly make beer a key theme of its convention. A “Red, White and Brew” party will be held at Henry Maier Festival Park on Sunday before the convention gets underway to welcome delegates, politicians, volunteers, and members of the media.

Meanwhile, Republicans have also announced daily themes for the convention tied to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Monday will be dedicated to events under the banner “Make America Wealthy Once Again,” Tuesday’s theme is “Make America Safe Again,” Wednesday’s is “Make America Strong Again” and Thursday’s is “Make America Great Once Again.”

Donald Trump addresses a rally crowd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 22 (Chris Szagola/AP)
Donald Trump addresses a rally crowd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 22 (Chris Szagola/AP)

The agenda will include formal policy sessions, meetings of the individual state delegations, and events sponsored by organizations promoting various conservative causes, from Moms for Liberty and the American Jewish Committee to the Heritage Foundation, whose controversial Project 2025 proposal has sparked uproar in recent weeks.

There will also be film screenings, including the biopic Reagan starring Dennis Quaid,Theocracy of Terror: Murder, Oppression and the Rise of Iran’s Political Regime and Trump’s Rescue Mission: Saving America.

An official watch party will be held each day at the Drink Wisconsinbly Pub on 320 West Highland Avenue, across the street from the main venue, an arena normally home to the Milwaukee Bucks.

When will Trump accept the nomination?

The former president will formally accept the nomination to be the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee on the final day of the convention: Thursday July 18.

He will then deliver a speech to the crowd of attendees, bringing the convention to a conclusion amid a deluge of patriotic red, white, and blue balloons.

To date, it is not clear when Trump will announce his running mate at the event.

However, he is expected to announce it on July 15, and he and his deputy are expected to be together for a “Strength in Unity” event on Wednesday and a “Freedom First” event on Thursday, so it will have to happen before then.