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Chilhowee, Missouri hosted it’s annual parade at noon today, as part of their fall festival. The small town in the southwest corner of Johnson County has a population of 329 (2000 census). Entries for the parade started lining up around 10:30 a.m. The parade route is just a few blocks long. The number of individuals walking in the parade in support of political candidates approached the number of the total population of Chilhowee.

Chris Benjamin, Democratic candidate in the 31st Senate District, speaking with parade volunteers.

Steve Shippy (D) (left center, wearing a yellow shirt), candidate for Johnson County Treasurer, with his large entourage of volunteers – all wearing campaign t-shirts, truck, and trailer. This is a typical parade setup in our area.

Volunteers line up at the start of the parade. Everyone has (and develops) their own technique for carrying and distributing candidate stickers and other campaign chum. Candy for the local kids lining the parade route is an expectation placed on all candidates. A volunteer is sent ahead on the parade route to distribute paper bags emblazoned with the candidate’s sticker to distribute to children so they can conveniently carry all the candy they manage to pick up.

Chris Benjamin working the crowd. He takes time to shake hands, introduce himself by name, and have a short conversation. An energetic campaigner, he managed to shake almost every adult hand along the parade route.

Kristi Kenney’s volunteers toss a particularly popular piece of campaign chum (at least with children) – soft foam balls with her camapaign logo on them. Kristi Kenny is the Democratic candidate in the 120th Legislative District.