PITTSFIELD — Bring your opinions, your love of popcorn and don't be afraid to boo and hiss when Berkshire voters gather next week to view the third and final presidential debate at the Berkshire Museum.
Co-sponsored by the museum and The Berkshire Eagle, the Community Debate Watch on Oct. 19 begins with a panel discussion with the audience at 8 p.m. followed by the video feed from Las Vegas of the latest verbal jousting between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton. The event is free, open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
The debate will air live, at 9 p.m. next Wednesday, from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, moderated by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.
"We hope to have a civil discussion for people who are on opposite sides of the campaign ... [which] has descended into name calling," said Eagle Publisher Martin Langeveld.
Given the no-holds-barred approach the candidates took during the first two debates, the last Trump-Clinton face-to-face political battle before the Nov. 8 election should, if anything, be a must-see, according to Eagle President Fredric Rutberg.
"It's more fun to watch with a group of people," he said. "I'm not sure the [debates] have been entertaining, more of a spectacle with the substance the last thing that comes out."
Rutberg noted the two yet-to-be-named panelists will include one that has viewpoints similar to Trump; the other aligned with the Clinton campaign. The debate is scheduled to wrap up at 10:30 p.m.
"This whole election has been so unpredictable that it's hard to believe there won't be something cataclysmic between now and then," Rutberg said.
According to the website uspresidentialelectionnews.com, the final debate will be the same format as the first, divided into six timed segments of 15 minutes on the major topics of the campaign. Trump and Clinton have two minutes to respond to the moderator's question and can respond to each other's answers. If time allows, the moderator will seek a deeper discussion of the topic between the candidates.
IF YOU GO ...
What: Community Debate Watch for the final presidential debate
When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 19
Where: Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield
The event is free, open to the public with first-come, first-served seating.