Candy and Politics: Cloquet's Labor Day Parade
Posted at: 09/03/2012 5:50 PM
| Updated at: 09/03/2012 10:39 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
The word "tradition" and the Cloquet Labor Day parade go together like two peas in a pod.
"Kind of a tradition," Hermantown's Pete Franzen told Eyewitness News, near the end of the parade route. "The kids love the parade. It's a good chance to wrap up the summer."
Thousands of people packed the city's main road, intent on ending their summer right. Nathan Wright, of Duluth, said he goes back to work Tuesday, and his kids go back to school on Wednesday.
The kids come for the candy. And unlike their parents, they likely didn't notice the politicians filling much of the parade in front of them.
Democrat Rick Nolan walked near the front of the parade, greeting people along the way. He's the Democrat running for Minnesota's 8th Congressional District. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minnesota, holds the seat now. He walked near the tail end of the parade.
Both men walked along the street, switching sides often, introducing themselves, but not much more.
Others in Monday's parade included candidates for U.S. Senate, the Minnesota legislature, county commissions and city councils. Between the fire trucks and floats, the presence of politics at the parade was huge.
"It's nice to see that they care enough to come meet the people in the community and talk to you and just be open," Franzen said.
But what does showing up at a parade really do for a candidate's campaign?
Ron Johnson, of Cloquet, said "I think it boosts them, you know, being a small town like this it's easy to forget about us."
Two months ahead of a major election, voters at the parade aren't convinced the candidates' presence at the parade will change the way they fill out their ballots in November.
"I'm sure most people have already decided who they're going to vote for," Franzen said.
Franzen went on to say "if there is someone who has questions or is looking for input and trying to decide it's a good chance to put the face to the name and see that they're a real person."