Friday, July 24, 2009

Some Thought on State Fair and the Special Election

A News-Journal article about the scheduling of the 19th State Senate District Special Election mentioned the Delaware State Fair.
Originally, I had thought it might create a puzzle for candidates who planned to do door-to-door campaigning, since they might miss a lot of consitituents who would be at the Fair. Looking over the daily schedule I am betting they could do needed campaigning at the Fair during mid-day and be back in the district by 5:30 pm to get in a couple hours of door-to-door campaigning. The events in the evening (music concerts and comedians) are less amenable to casual conversing and walking around that would facilitate the type of interaction a candidate might like . Most of the events that are theme related on the themed days ("seniors day", "armed forces day" and "kids day") are before 5: 00 pm from what I observed in scanning briefly over the schedule.

I was afraid it created and "either/or" situation,but motivated candidates could spend s few hours at the Fair in the afternoon and still have a couple hours to visit constituents door-to-door.

If you have any doubts the Fair is a big event , here are some numbers and information from the State Fair website.
Over 300,000 attendees over the course of ten days.
Friday, July 24 - Saturday, August 1: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM.Wade Shows Midway opens at 1:00 PM.
Here is an excerpt from the 7-30-2008 press release about last year’s attendance:
According to the Fair’s general manager, William J. DiMondi, “attendance numbers after the first seven days were down at one point as much as 18% compared to 2007 due primarily to weather. After the break in the weather early Thursday, we came back strong, finishing the Fair with an attendance of 265,610 which is down only 4% from the Fair’s historic rolling 10-year average attendance.” Overall, attendance was down approximately 10% from 2007.
From the 7-31-2007 press release about that year’s attendance:
According to the Fair’s general manager, Dennis Hazzard, the attendance for the 2007 event was impacted by several variables. The comfortable weather, exciting carnival rides, great food, and an all-star concert lineup made for a record setting year. The Fair closed the gates on the 2007 Fair with an overall attendance of 300,463—representing an increase from 2006 of nearly 3%.

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