Democrats made an impressive display of Democratic energy and enthusiasm as we marched in the Pioneer Day Parade in Englewood.
Together, there were 6 decorated vehicles and about 50 people from Charlotte County, Sarasota County, and the Venice Club and North Port clubs. Five candidates were represented: Joan Fischer (Charlotte County Commission), Tony Mowry (FL House District 74), Olivia Babis, FL Senate District 23), Wesley Beggs (Sarasota County Commission), and Krista Lohr (Sarasota County Charter Review Board). By contrast, there weren’t any Republican entries in the parade. The more than 1.5-mile parade route ran through old Englewood, and was packed with spectators on both sides of the street. We got favorable reactions as we passed out campaign flyers and candy.
Now in its 62nd year, Pioneer Days is a popular Englewood event that celebrates Englewood’s origins. The parade is one of many events that are held around Labor Day. Many events, such as a cardboard boat race or Mayor for a Day, are charity fundraisers.
A misunderstanding about whether political parties would be eligible to participate in the parade almost stopped Dems from being in the parade. Sarasota Democrats wanted to participate, but they heard that political groups were not allowed, said Pam Nolan, Sarasota County precinct captain, and organizer.
However, Dan Rodriguez, Joan Fischer’s campaign manager, talked with parade officials and found Joan could participate. Dan immediately contacted Sarasota to tell them they also can be in the parade. With some quick, last-minute scrambling, everything fell into place.
Everyone who participated agreed the event was a huge success. “Good turnout for last minute organization”, said Gretchen Lienhop, Sarasota precinct captain, and volunteer coordinator. “It was fun to be out here.”
Preparing for the parade in the staging area, Tony Mowry said, “It’s great to be out here on the Labor Day (Pioneer Days) Parade in beautiful Englewood, Fl, and interact with all the voters. We’re excited to be in.”
Olivia Babis said the parade was a great event and was pleased with the favorable responses from parade viewers. “We got a lot of positive feedback. People were waving and giving us thumbs up.”