I participated in my first parade as a candidate as part of the Warsaw Fire Deparment’s Annual Carnival. The parade was held on Tuesday, July 3rd on an evening that began with heavy rains, but ended up picture perfect.
I had never attended this particular parade and knew little about it. None the less, my crack team of campaign volunteers Bob Chadwick, Molly McLaughlin, Zach and Austin Haas and my cousin, Sue, all banned together and decorated Bob’s shiny-clean black truck to make my parade entry first class all the way!
As the parade began, we started off at a pleasant pace along a Warsaw side street where all the parade units were staged. However, within a block, we made a turn onto downtown Warsaw’s Main Street, which was jam packed with parade watchers as far as I could see. Without thought or care, I started zig zagging from one side of the street to the other, shaking hands and wishing people a Happy 4th of July.
Despite my best efforts, I started to seriously lag behind my truck and volunteers, which required me to sprint down the middle of Main Street every few minutes, so I could get close enough to the truck to begin handshaking again. It took about a mile for me to realize that I was going to have to choose, either hand shaking or staying with my truck, as the longer the parade went the farther behind I got.
Ultimately, my choice was made easy by the friendly and warm welcome I received from the Wyoming County residents enjoying the parade. I met constituents of all ages and walks of life and, on occassion, I stopped to talk with service men and women and veterans who proudly wore their uniforms or identifying combat hats or shirts. From Korea to Afghanistan veterans to soldiers in-training, it was my honor to meet and shake the hands of those dedicated to our nation’s safety.
Finally, I wound down the parade path onto the carnival grounds, having been passed by most all of the other marchers. It was an hour and a half after I began and to say I was a bit on the warm side, would be putting it mildly! But as my awesome volunteers cheered me with cold water and a warm welcome, I was amazed at the experience of meeting so many of the people that I will soonrepresent as the Assemblywoman from the 147th District….and more determined than ever to campaign to win!