Yesterday, I went to the Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls. It was a perfect night for such an outing. I did make my way to the Expo building. Where everyone set to sell or promote products, including political parties.
First, a tip of the hat to Jo Beal and the staff at the fair grounds. They did a great job getting everything ready for the fair. I also thought the wall/banners of heroes was a very nice touch. The folks who run the State Fair should take a lesson or two from Sioux Empire Fair, about how to get turned around.
In years’ past, competing groups where placed close together, The Right to Life folks right around the corner from Planned Parenthood. Roofing companies grouped closed together, Democrats across the aisle from Republicans, while well meaning this lead to some tense moments and awkward situations. This year, it was quite different. The various groups were placed far enough and out of sight of each other to prevent such issues.
I did stop by both the Democratic and Republican booths. I have to say the Democratic booth was much more inviting, the folks manning the booth were welcoming and more than willing to chat with me, until it was learned I was republican, I was quickly ushered away.
The Republican booth had only one person, Representative Hal Wick. There were some outdated campaign materials, a few John Thune balloons, and some treats for the kidos. I was somewhat disappointed.
There could a number of contributing factors to what I saw. It was somewhat late in the day, and the booths were winding down for the day. It was opening day, and a work day. Of course, it is a non-election year, and there there isn’t anything major happening on the state level. It makes sense to save resources for election years, or for when there are more people milling about, or when there some major bill pending.
These fairs, local town celebrations, regional fairs and even The State Fair is a great chance to meet people, listen to what concerns them, and promote your point of view. Granted, when people go to the fair they don’t want to talk politics. Even if they want to talk about the 4-H rabbits, this is a great chance for people to learn your name, and put a face with that name.
Tomorrow, I am headed to a non-political ‘event‘ at the Madison DQ. I hope to see a few representatives helping the cause, and maybe shaking a few hands.