Strolling of the Heifers: Sanders to march in annual Brattleboro event on Saturday

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Sen. Bernie Sanders' road to the White House will go through a parade of heifers.

Vermont's junior U.S. Senator, who is a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, will march in the Strolling of the Heifers parade Saturday.

Strolling of the Heifers organizers said earlier in the week that they were waiting to hear from Sanders' office, and they confirmed Wednesday that Sanders would make an appearance in Saturday's parade.

"The Strolling of the Heifers is one of the great events in Vermont," Sanders said Wednesday. "Orly and her staff do an excellent job. It celebrates Vermont agriculture and family farms. It brings people together and it's a lot of fun. It gives us an opportunity to visit with a lot of old friends."

The parade starts at 10 a.m. and Sanders will speak from the Gazebo on the Brattleboro Common at 11 a.m.

Sanders announced in late April that he would be running for President as a Democrat in the 2016 election, and he held an official kick-off rally in Burlington on May 26 that drew thousands to the Lake Champlain waterfront.

He will also be in Keene, N.H., Saturday, at 1 p.m. at the Keene Recreation Center at 312 Washington St.

Sanders is an honorary co-chairman of The Strolling of the Heifers Board of Directors. He has been a regular participant in the celebration of local agriculture since the event was introduced in 2001 and has competed in the celebrity milking contests.

Strolling of the Heifers founder Orly Munzing said she ran into Sanders in Brattleboro before the first parade when she had the idea to organize a weekend-long local agriculture event.

"He loved the idea from the start," Munzing said. "He totally got it. He told me he supported local agriculture and thought it was a great idea. He gave me the courage to do this."

After Sanders announced that he would be running for President, Munzing said she assumed the Senator would be too busy to make an appearance, but after contacting his office Munzing said Sanders adjusted his schedule to plan an event later in Keene which allowed him to march in the Strolling of the Heifers parade.

"He's a very busy guy, but when I called his office they said if he could do it, he would," Munzing said. "We've had congressmen, senators, governors and lieutenant governors, but we've never had a presidential candidate. He has loved the Strolling of the Heifers from day one, and his office said he didn't want to miss it."

Howard Weisss-Tisman can be contacted at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.


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