Old Dominion Brewing Company Brewfest, 2006

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If trying lots of different kinds of beer, and having to work a little for each 6 ounces, sounds like fun, you should head over to the Old Dominion Brewfest this weekend.

You have to use these little 6 ounce glasses, and then buy round pogs - tokens - for a dollar a piece, and then trade one pog for one fill up at any of about 50 microbrewery exhibits. The basic drill is, go though the line, trade a pog for a fill up, then get in another line and drink and chat until you get to the next keg. The timing works out just about right, I found.

I'm no longer a beer drinker, so I only tried a few, and anyways that is not what I am here to report about.

The focus of my report tonight is, how life is just a little bit cuter when you're a Republican.


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Our booth was almost right next to the band, and this little munchkin spent a fair amount of time dancing, which melted the hearts of heartless conservatives and angry liberals alike.

More cuteness ensued with the plethora of blue George Allen for Senate balloons, which ALL the kids who came by wanted. At times, the field looked like a huge George Allen rally, at other times the sky above looked like a huge George Allen rally as the little creatures inevitably accidentally let go of the strings.

The Loudoun County Republican Party booth was promoting George Allen, Frank Wolf, the Virginia Marriage Amendment, and the Loudoun County Young Republicans. I ended up mainly being the VA4Marriage guy, handing out the "Vote Yes For Marriage" stickers and various literature on all the causes. I worked from 5 pm - 8 pm, which I was told was one of the calmer shifts. Later in the evening, after the beers and sunshine have had their effect, I hear it gets a little more interesting.

My experience was relatively non-confrontational. I definitely tried to make it that way. One young woman in the early-twenties/ heavily-tatooed and pierced/ dressed-mostly-in-black demographic stood in front of our booth for a second then walked away giving us the finger, then about 15 feet away had a long kiss with another girl, apparently in an effort to shock us stodgy Republicans. As it turns out, we were not shocked. Next time, she might try picking up litter or reading from the Book of Jeremiah - either of those would have seriously gotten our attention.

Our booth was positioned somewhat fortuitously near the stage and also the path to the port-a-potties. (Strategic note from experience: talk to people on the way back from the port-a-potties at a beer fest.)

It was positioned somewhat un-fortuitously right next to a punk accessories exhibit, the only one of it's kind at the event.


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Here's my personal observation on the people who gravitate to a punk exhibit and have to walk by a Republican Party/Vote Yes for Marriage exhibit:

  • Fifty percent walk by without even noticing the Republican exhibit.

  • Forty percent walk by and look at our exhibit as they would look at a sign written in the Russian language.

  • Five percent do a double take when they see the gigantic "Vote Yes For Marriage" sign, but walk by resolutely not looking at us again.

  • Five percent stop and either laugh derisively or give us angry looks.

On Friday night we made a few really good contacts with people who want to work during the coming campaign season. We were a big hit with the kids. Democratic parents by and large can't deny their children a balloon even though it promotes George Allen. Of the few who DID deny the tykes a balloon, though, I have to say they provided some of my best entertainment of the evening. The tactic was, after the parent saw our balloons, they would quickly shunt their kids in a different direction or step between the child and our booth. Sort of like you would do on Bourbon Street when a transvestite in a bikini walked by.

The Loudoun County Democrats also had a booth.


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I think they ended up having more traffic than us because they were located right in beer-alley and right next to the $1.00 Pogs tent. I saw Jonathan David of Equality Loudoun sitting in there a few hours later when my shift was over, but I was about talked out for the night and hadn't eaten yet so I did not stop by.

For the most part, attendees were there to drink, and up until 8:30 at least not there to talk politics, but it was a good opportunity for us to 'show the flag.'

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3 Comments

David said:

Joe, Jonathan wasn't there yesterday. Perhaps you have us confused?

For whatever reason, people seemed angered by your message about the proposed amendment. The idea of interfering with people's basic liberties just wasn't going over well with this crowd. The munchkin sure is cute, though.

Stop by today if you're there and we'll chat.

David, Sheesh, no I don't have you confused, Jonathan was at our meeting the other night, for goodness sakes.

Starting the evening with 24 oz of beer on an empty stomach is a formula for ending up a tad more twisted than usual at the end of the evening, I guess. Sorry about that!

If you mean people seemed angered at the event just by the signs at our booth, yes some did but not many who bothered to tell us or make it evident.

If they were angered by what some person actually said, I'd be interested in hearing more about it. It was a VERY loosely organized collection of people working out booth, but most of us were trying not to argue with anyone at all.

priscilla said:

This is very interesting site

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