Democrats are gathering for their convention and coronation of Sen. Barack Obama as their presidential candidate. On tap is a four-day thrashing...

DENVER — Democrats are gathering for their convention and coronation of Sen. Barack Obama as their presidential candidate. On tap is a four-day thrashing and trashing of the status quo as Democrats champion the change message that Obama rode to the nomination.

“The 2008 convention will highlight Americans coming together to change the course of this nation,” said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sibelius, the convention co-chair. “The politics and policies that have divided us will not allow us to achieve the change we need.”

It begins tonight in the Pepsi Center when the Navajo Code Talkers Association presents the colors. It ends Thursday night when the show moves outdoors to Invesco Field for Obama’s acceptance speech before a crowd of 75,000 people.

In between, the convention will feature what officials are calling “headline prime-time speakers” — well-known Demo-crats who will pitch the change message — and long lists of lesser-knowns who also will address the topic.

Still to be announced is the timing of the procedural highlight of the convention — the roll-call vote that will make Obama the nominee. That vote traditionally is held on the third night of the convention. But convention spokeswoman Natalie Wyeth, perhaps hinting of nontraditional scheduling, said the time of the roll-call vote is to be announced.

“Stay tuned,” she said.