An estimated 15,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on Wednesday for the March for Students and Rally for Respect, which would make it one of the largest rallies ever to take place downtown.
Experts note that it's impossible to count the exact size of any large crowd. People are constantly moving and even aerial shots can’t get a total crowd view, especially not somewhere like downtown Raleigh, where buildings block the view.
With that in mind, here are some of the largest gatherings in recent history.
Recent large rallies in downtown Raleigh:
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▪ February 8, 2014: Organizers of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) march say 80,000 people attended the event downtown. But the number was disputed. N&O crowd-counting experts estimated 15,000-20,000 people attended.
▪ January 21, 2017: Estimates for the Women’s March in downtown Raleigh ranged from 10,000 to 30,000 people, with most local media outlets reporting around 17,000 participants. The 2018 Women’s March is estimated to have drawn between 5,000 and 10,000 people.
▪ February 14, 2017: Supporters say more than 80,000 people attended the 11th annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) march downtown. Again, the number is disputed.