As promised, here are my impressions from our trip to Wisconsin this week for the LGBTQ wedding of one of my dearest friends.

On our way, my husband and I took in the sights, driving from Chicago O’Hare via Racine, to Milwaukee, then west to Lake Geneva.

Being from the Midwest, I was reminded of how friendly people are, and how beautiful the landscape is along Lake Michigan and the farmlands.

I’m happy to report, the four-day wedding celebration was magical.

Politically, not so much.

Between scheduled wedding activities, we explored local seasonal events, one of which was the Delavan Scarecrow Fest.

Upon arrival there, we quickly saw signs designating Delavan as the historic “Circus Colony” where P.T. Barnum was first formed. Fun!

We wandered among the many foods and crafts stands and the feeling was festive. Joy!

Then smack dab in the middle of the festivities was the Walworth County Republican Party booth. Boo.

On my phone, I Googled Walworth County. Although Wisconsin amazingly flipped blue, with Biden winning in 2020, Walworth County voted 59% for Trump. Boo!

I wandered over to surreptitiously take photos of their booth and overheard one of the staff commiserating with a visitor, “That’s why we need to keep fighting…”

Admittedly, I am not subtle and I asked, “So you’re okay with destroying America?” He simply replied, “I don’t talk to idiots,” and turned away.

Then I bumped into several new LGBTQ friends from the wedding party. Yay!

One of them spotted the Republican booth and showed me how it’s done. She whispered to me, “Watch me go talk to them wearing my rainbow sweater.”

Here’s a photo of her fearlessly approaching them in a friendly way, asking, “Do you know where I can find the ‘scarecrow kits’?” For about five minutes, they were so helpful, Googling on their phones, completely oblivious to her rainbow sweater.

Then we wandered some more and to my surprise, just steps away, I found the Walworth County Democratic Party Booth. Yay!

The Democrats’ booth was noticeably more popular. They had an “Official Poll,” a colorful fishing tackle tray with nine sections for issues ranging from Immigration to Voter Suppression, to LGBTQ, to Abortion. They had cute plastic beads, and you placed only one bead per person to vote for one issue. The most votes were for Gun Violence and the Climate Crisis. Legit.

Meanwhile, the only thing the Walworth County Republican Party booth had to offer was free “Let’s Go Brandon” stickers. Delavan is the home of clowns, after all.

But there are also lots of nice folks. Each booth had a sweet doggy. The Democratic party booth had an adorable Labradoodle named Lucy, who apparently voted PURPLE. I didn’t interact with the doggy in the Republican booth. Sad

One more impression, driving through the region, I was sad to see similar hateful displays that I thought I’d only see near our summer home in Northern Idaho.

Rightwing flags on the roads included the usual “Don’t Tread on Me,” and “Trump 2024.”

Surprisingly I don’t recall seeing any Confederate flags.

A new one for me was “F*ck You Biden” (their spelling, not mine), or the more subtle “FYB,” and “Let’s Go Brandon.” Charming. No photos. It wasn’t worth stopping for.

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