Now that summer is officially underway, communities are coming alive! Parades, fairs, church festivals and community events fill the weekends, which means now is the best time for candidates to get out and meet the people who will be voting for them.

County fairs are great places to meet potential voters and future constituents, and most counties hold them every summer. Whether you rent your own table within an exhibit hall or tag along with the county party, here’s a list of three things you MUST bring with you.

Lit, Palm Cards or Something to Give Away

The single most important item to have at your county fair booth is something to give away. Whether it’s a palm card with your photo and biographical information on it, a football, racing or hunting schedule, a balloon or candy with your logo on it, have something to give away to voters. Kids love getting stuff, and anything you give to them will end up eventually with mom or dad. Make sure it’s something that represents you and your campaign in a positive way.

Sign-up Sheets

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that people love to give their opinion. In order to attract people to your booth and capture their information (name, email, phone and address) to contact them again before the election, have something on hand to collect their information. Sign-up sheets are fine, but go for something unique like asking them to sign a postcard for a favorite politician, or a petition asking them to support an issue or cause. The information you gather can be used again when you’re looking for volunteers and to get a group of people together.


If you’re the candidate or politician, you should be at your booth as long and as often as possible. Nothing beats retail politics, and voters love to shake the hand of their candidate to establish a relationship with them. Be there as often as your schedule allows and greet everyone with a smile and a ‘hello.’

Having an active presence at a county fair is not difficult, it just takes a little preparation. With some forethought, fairs can be some of the most successful campaign events a candidate can attend.