The Richmond Register

Local News

October 11, 2012

Party atmosphere all around in Danville

DANVILLE — Thursday night’s debate between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden may be a partisan party versus party fight.

But across the way from the debate hall, it’s just one big party.

Center College students, Danville residents, out-of-towners — even students from mainland China — were all smiles and in a party mood.

“This is – uh – great! Lot of fun, the way we ought to do this,” said Disi Lu, 18, a Centre freshman from China.

She and three other students from China – they met at Centre not in China – were merrily having their photographs taken with Kentucky State Troopers, festival goers dressed as Abe Lincoln and George Washington, even reporters and photographers.

Lu said she likes the way the United States chooses its leaders. Asked to contrast that with her homeland, she said, “Both are good,” raising her voice to overcome the music booming from the concert stage by “Earthman Lanny Smith.”

The event was sponsored by AARP, which offered patrons a chance to be photographed with life-sized cut-outs of Mitt Romney or Barack Obama – or between  both of them.

Mary Maggard, an AARP volunteer from Lexington, said by noon about one-third of those posing had chosen Obama, one-third Romney “and about one-third are in-between.”

That might be a surprise in a conservative state like Kentucky, which increasingly votes Republican in national elections, a state already conceded by the Obama campaign. But at the festival, Obama supporters, mostly young students, weren’t timid.

“I’m the biggest socialist you’ll ever meet,” Miranda Willis, 19, of Campbellsville said with a smile after she and two friends posed with Obama’s cut-out. “I believe in all of Obama’s programs and policies.”

Willis is especially displeased with a comment made by Romney in an interview that students who can’t afford college should “borrow the money from their parents.”

“That just shows how incredibly out of touch he is with the lives of most people,” said Willis, a government and sociology major at Centre.

“Tuition at Centre is $42,000 a year, and my parents are middle class people who simply don’t have that kind of money. I’ll be $80,000 in debt when I graduate, and I just don’t think that’s fair.”

Nearby Brittany Neal, 19, a Centre sophomore from Somerset, agreed and waved an Obama sign, perhaps a bit surprising for someone from Pulaski County, right in the middle of Kentucky’s conservative Republican region.

“Mine is the one family in Somerset that likes Obama,” Neal said smiling. “My family are all Democrats, and we’re kind of proud of it.”

If there were more Obama supporters visible at the festival, the reverse was true at a television set of MSNBC where the Andrea Mitchell show was broadcasting.

A few brave Obama supporters were trying to compete with more numerous Romney supporters who held up Romney/Ryan signs for the television cameras. The Obama supporters were outnumbered 3-to-1 or 4-to-1.

One Obama fan, a Centre professor, Anne Lubbers, was so dismayed by the prevalence of Romney supporters with matching signs, she hastily constructed her own on cardboard which read: “Obama Biden care about ALL of us!”

A few feet away, Alden Homirch, a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity from Stone Mountain, Ga., sat on a fraternity brother’s shoulders and held high aloft the portrait of Centre grad and former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson, known around campus as “Dead Fred.” The Phi Delts take the portrait to all campus events and he was to have prime balcony seat at the actual debate Thursday evening.

Asked who “Dead Fred” supports in the current election, Homirch said, “He’s bi-partisan, I think.”

Back at the festival it was a more festive atmosphere at Melton’s Great American Deli vendor’s tent. Owner Gina Melton, a Barren County native who lives in Danville, said she and her family prepared 2,600 hot dogs and buns for the event; cotton candy for 1,000 people, nachos with cheese and all sorts of hot and cold drinks.

Next door, Papa John’s was selling Paul Ryan Pepperoni and Joe Biden Beef pizzas. AARP volunteers manned booths with spinning wheels and offering prizes like small megaphones, T-shirts and caps.

Next door was a tent where patrons were snapping up official Centre debate t-shirts, sweatshirts, “Thrill in the ‘Ville” debate posters and caps.

Concert-goers sat on the rolling lawn in chairs, on blankets and just walked around. Giant screens beside the musical stage were to broadcast the actual debate where thousands on hand were expected to watch. The event was to conclude with a concert by the Marshall Tucker Band.

It may be deadly serious for the two presidential campaigns, but it was a part for all those on hand at the festival.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results