It is retail politics at its best, where you get to meet the candidates one on one. This atmosphere is something you just can’t get from social networking no matter how advanced we become in technology.
Growing up decades ago, the first Neshoba County Fair that I attended to hear the political speeches and meet the candidates, two Carroll County natives took me, my mother Vallie Strachan and her sister, Pauline Noland. When we left Philadelphia that day we talked on the way back home about how we got to know the candidates on a more personal level through the speeches and handshakes.
Without a doubt, it was something that a fifteen-second sound bite could not match. Even though we were years away from the internet and the instant communication we have today, I am confident more than ever that these types of rural settings are irreplaceable.
The Black Hawk Rally is held every four years on county election years, and the next one is scheduled for the summer of 2015. For candidates seeking office in Carroll County, the Black Hawk Rally is a must-stop. A candidate is expected to give a speech there where the voters can get to know the person on the ballot.
With the Neshoba County Fair being a must stop for statewide candidates over the years, the same office seekers on the state level have come through Carroll County at Black Hawk.
The Black Hawk Rally began in the late sixties and at one time had over 2,000 in attendance to hear the speeches of candidates running from the local level to the governor's mansion. There have been sitting Governors to United States Senators to speak in Black Hawk.
These old fashioned political gatherings are an asset to the communities of this state, and they serve an important purpose -- to inform the voting public.
When I spoke at Black Hawk the first time almost twenty years ago, I reached the podium as a candidate and thought, “This is rural Mississippi at its best.” That is the same feeling I had when I left Philadelphia years ago with mama and Aunt Pauline.
Ken Strachan is a former mayor of North Carrollton and serves as Carroll County coroner.