Saturday, July 25, 2009 3 Responses
WASILLA, Alaska -- Gov. Sarah Palin has made her last official appearance in her hometown as the leader of Alaska. The Governor's Picnic in Wasilla attracted thousands of people from as far away as Texas, New York and Florida.
They prepared enough hot dogs, watermelon and root beer floats for 5,000 picnickers. Some came for the free food and music, but the main attraction was someone who has grown up and made her home right in their own backyard.
It was the first taste of Palin's three-course picnic weekend. And even in her hometown, neighbors who've grown up around Palin seemed a little star struck. "She served me a hotdog and she signed napkins for myself and this gentleman up here that I've been chatting with," said Wasilla resident Cindy Harvey.
And for those visiting from Outside, it was a meal they'll never forget. "There's five of us here from Louisiana," said Diana Hobson. "We love Sarah Palin -- I've been looking for Sarah Palin T-shirts all over Wasilla."
"I just told her that everybody, when we left and said we're coming to Alaska, they said, ‘Tell Sarah we love her,' so she signed my book," said Anna Bayless of Austin, Texas.
Palin's address called on Alaskans to honor the nation's service men and women. "Now I won't take my time at the podium to talk politics today, because we get to do something more worthy than speaking politics," said Palin.
Perhaps she's saving those speeches for after she steps down. "I hate to see it because I think she was good for the state, but I have to respect her views," said Eagle River resident Joanne Marshall. "I think that's just fine for whatever her reasons are, I respect her and I like her and I have known her for a while," said Wasilla resident Barbra Moroney.
If there are opponents of Palin in Wasilla, they were not at the picnic Friday. But friends and fans served up affection for the soon-to-be every-day citizen who'll be far from ordinary. Palin will also be at the Anchorage picnic Saturday. It's on the Park Strip and starts at noon.
On Sunday she heads to Fairbanks where she'll hand over power to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.