The stage is set and .
The Republican presidential candidates are in the Palmetto State for the CBS News/ National Journal Republican presidential debate at Wofford College.
The debate, which begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, will feature all eight conservative hopefuls: Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
The contest in Spartanburg serves as a golden opportunity to make a statement in a state that has since 1980 correctly predicted in its own primaries the future Republican nominee.
Romney has the chance to make a mark in a state . Cain is seeking to rise above the scandal that thas plagued his campaign for the last two weeks. Gingrich is hoping to leverage the momentum of late. Perry could turn a stronger debate performance than the one earlier this week, which included a gaffe considered by some to be among the worst in political debate history.
For some candidates, Saturday also represents an important chance to meet and greet voters in the state.
Perry's wife Anita will take part in a Neighborhood Block Walk beginning at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Fairlane Drive and Fernwood-Glendale Road in Spartanburg.
An hour later, Paul will hold a Veterans Day pre-debate rally at 11 a.m. at Summit Pointe Conference and Events Center in Spartanburg.
Gingrich will be at Furman University in Greenville at 11:30 a.m. to participate in a BBQ Tailgate Townhall with the Furman Univerity Republicans group at the PAC Center's Lot 18.
At 3 p.m., Gingrich and his wife Callista will open up their Greenville campaign headquarters at 700 Woodruff Road, Suite 6.
At 4:30 p.m., Santorum will host a pre-debate gathering at Wade’s Family Restaurant at 1000 N. Pine St. in Spartanburg. It will be his second stop during the day having spent the morning in Summerville.
Bachmann, Huntsman and Romney will not hold any pre-debate gatherings.
William Head, state director of field oeprations for Cain's campaign, said the embattled businessman would be in Atlanta on Saturday morning to speak to a Young Republicans meeting before making his way to Spartanburg for debate prep in the early afternoon.
The buzz of candidate activity will be coupled with the growing anticipation of a that are expected throughout the day, scheduled by progressives to coincide with the GOP's debate.
Patch will be on scene in Spartanburg, providing coverage throughout the day.
And then blog with us during the debate on Saturday night. Learn how you can participate.