Tonight is the annual Halloween Parade in Vienna. It’s one of my favorite district events and one of the biggest visibility events in the 34th Senate District (up there with Fourth of July Parade and Fairfax Fall Festival).
I first marched in the Vienna parade in 2007. That was after a long campaign season in which over $3 million had been spent on TV advertising alone. Yes, a bit different than this year. I had also spent all summer knocking on doors in Vienna and Wolf Trap.
After you’ve been hammered by negative ads on TV for several weeks, you start to wonder whether people still support you. It’s tempting to stay in your office and avoid going out in public. But you got to keep pushing.
That day in 2007, we had a group of James Madison HS students marching in the Parade with us. They were singing and cheering. Their enthusiasm was contagious. We also had a bagpiper from Local 5016 of the Police & Deputy Sheriffs’ Coalition. Love the pipes.
My family was marching with me. We had bought a Lightning McQueen outfit for my 2-year old. He refused to wear it, so my #2 daughter put it on. Everyone else had tee shirts that said “Pit Crew.”
There was a light rain that night and I wondered whether any crowds would be there. In the darkness, it was actually hard to see. But we could hear them.
Coming up Maple Avenue, I could feel the cheering and support from the crowd. When we stopped in front of the Vienna Inn, my 7 year old daughter stepped in front and started dancing for the crowd. They went nuts!
When we got home that night, I told my wife: “We’re going to be OK in Vienna.” A few days later on Election Day, we were OK.
Anyway, we will be marching again at 7 p.m. tonight in Vienna. Hope to see you there.