Our Vote! Longmont organization was in the August 2nd Boulder County Fair Parade. We also received a trophy for 2nd Place in the “Organizational” category! (8/5/08 Times-Call Pg A-3)
Was it the theme? The parade theme was “Back to our Roots”. As we passed the judges desk, the announcer introduced us: “Vote! Longmont encourages Longmont residents to register and vote in all elections, especially at the local level. VOTING IS THE ROOT OF DEMOCRACY. Be informed..get involved..VOTE! LONGMONT”
Was it the music? We had a medley of songs playing, pumping out of my PA system. We started it off at a fairly low volume, but people kept yelling to turn it up. We HATE quiet parades. We were wedged between a couple trucks with big engines, so the high volume was a good counterbalance. We had people along the route dancing and singing along. At a couple points the PA system tripped a circuit breaker. Yep, it was loud.
Was it the mascot? We had our basset hound as our official Vote! Longmont “Am-basset-door” barking and howling out the passenger window.
Was it the float design? We had our banner on the front. We had our voting booth in the back. We had red, white, and blue “fringes” along the sides – considering the (supposedly) Lunatic, Disconnected, and Fanatical Fringe were there as part of our entry.
Was it the free stuff? The entire route, Brigette was handing out hundreds of pieces of candy (red/white/blue saltwater taffy), bookmarks (also known as “garbage” to Longmont Councilmember Sean McCoy), and election and registration information. She also gave these to the judges, couldn’t hurt. Keep in mind this was a hot day on blacktop.
A funny side note: in the staging area we were right next to the Boulder County Democratic Party entry (see picture of the Obama Boat). More than once we were confused as being the lead for their procession, by citizens, elected officials, and candidates alike. Everyone that came up to us were friendly, even after they figured out who we were, or weren’t. One in particular was U.S. Congressional candidate Jared Polis. We had a friendly chat, talked about his ads on our Vote! Longmont site, which he was aware of and thanked us for. He was also aware we probably wouldn’t be voting for him (most of Longmont isn’t in the district he’s running for).
So, it was a fun time, a nice surprise to actually win a trophy, and best of all, the organizers already called us hoping we’ll return next year!