By Sarah Olsen
On Saturday, March 11, the Gaithersburg St. Patrick’s day parade took place. The MCGOP marched in support of Governor Larry Hogan, while many TARS turned out for candidates Robin Ficker and Tom Ferleman. Irish dance schools, local churches, men on horses and in leprechaun costumes also took to the streets. Families from Damascus had driven down to participate in this community tradition!
Around 9:30 am we gathered in Rio. We were wearing brand new Hogan shirts that had recently been designed by Dwight Patel. First to go was Robin Ficker’s campaign. A man dedicated to this county, he grew up here and has been active in the area ever since! He is currently running to become Montgomery County Executive in the 2018 election. On this day Robin donned a shamrock hat for festive flair, and when a child from the crowd approached him he held her for a photo. The parade route was short, however, and after Robin’s crew made it through many of the participants went back to join other groups to endorse the day’s message. There was energetic advocacy for term-limits and to end the one-party rule!
With a sign in hand, everyone went for round two. Those who fell behind the Hogan truck joined Tom Ferleman, who is on the ballot for the 2018 district 2 county council seat. His wife and many others were wearing stickers of the county flag with his name over it as they marched beside him. All throughout the day there were pictures taken of all the different supporters holding their posters and at the end Tom Ferleman held a group photo.
As crowds dispersed some of the remaining TARS stayed behind to converse over lunch before going on with their day. They planned to distribute the remaining supplies at their respective schools — Quince Orchard and Walter Johnson High Schools — and discussed the next few months’ events. There is much more to come!