The South Dakota Blogosphere Democracy and Petition Picnic happens this Saturday, September 12, here at my house in Aberdeen! If you’re reading this, you’re invited! Commenters, readers, fellow bloggers, elected officials (Mayor Levsen, Governor Daugaard, bring your sunglasses!), stealth candidates, friends and neighbors, come on over!
Now why would you want to spend your perfectly good Saturday in Aberdeen? I’ll give you ten reasons:
1. Intelligent Conversation: If you enjoy the conversations in the Dakota Free Press comment section (the most lively, informative, and diverse commentariat in the South Dakota Blogosphere), imagine how much more fun such conversations will be in person!
2. Putting Names with Faces: Half the fun of blog picnics (I’ve hosted a couple!) is putting voices and faces with the text you see tapped out here every day. Such face-to-face fellowship reinforces our sense of community and respect in the midst of our sometimes contentious discussions.
3. Snacks and Beverages! I’ll set out chips, dip, pop, and other goodies. If you’d like to bring a batch of bars or fruit salad or a six-pack of refreshments to share, feel free!
4. Petitions: I’ll have petitions to place the real 36% rate cap and the independent redistricting commission on the 2016 ballot. Other circulators are welcome to stop by and chat with guests about their petition drives (I’ll even let some of you fake 18%-rate-cap petitioners swing by with your petitions and handouts, as long as you don’t threaten anyone—my guests and I would love to visit with you!). If you’d like to sign, drop by! (Important note: snacks and beverages are available to all, whether or not you sign a petition.)
5. Candidate Recruitment: One of our favorite topics in Dakota Free Press conversations is who ought to run for office, not just for U.S. Senate, but for local Legislative districts and other exciting offices. Maybe we can find a likely suspect or two in the crowd to place on the 2016 ballot.
6. Weather: The National Weather Service currently forecasts 75°F and sunny for Saturday. So far so good!
7. Home Improvement: We just moved into this nice little house (complete with a blog office!) at the end of June. I still haven’t put up all of our shelves and similar improvements. The more of you who come, the more motivated I have to break out tool belt and get stuff done this week!
8. History and Art: As if an afternoon picnic isn’t enough fun, the Granary Rural Cultural Center north of Groton is hosting its Living History Fall Festival Saturday from 10 a,m. to 4 p.m. The Granary is also showing its “Between Land and Sky: Farming in Dakota” and juried Harvest of Arts exhibits. and Stop there first, enjoy one of the hidden gems of the northeastern South Dakota arts scene, then enjoy a leisurely drive through the Brown County backcountry and tell us all about it!
9. Auction: Come early and celebrate the free market (which we do on this blog every day, right? ;-) ) by going to an auction! At 11 a.m., Jark’s is auctioning off a Harley, trailer, bar stuff, and other loot out east of the airport.
10. Football: The Northern State Wolves play an evening game, starting at 6 p.m., against Minnesota State. See your healthcare dollars at work!
11. Barn Dance: Our house is kind of barn-shaped, but after our picnic, you can go to a real barn dance at the SPURS Therapeutic Riding Center. SPURS will have music, food, and a silent auction and pistol raffle to raise money for its operations.
12. Lake Dance: Bob and the Beachcombers are playing the End of Summer Bash at the Wakeside at Mina Lake, just 13 miles west of my house. Music starts at 8 p.m. and goes until midnight.
There! How much more fun could you ask for? Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, come on over and make a day of it in Aberdeen this Saturday!