SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2007 | ryan.alexander
John Deeth at the Iowa Independent has written a great entry about the history of the Steak Fry and mentions that Sunday’s Fry may have the largest crowd ever:
Tom Harkin’s streak of good luck with the weather is likely to stay intact. In 29 years, the annual Harkin Steak Fry has never been rained out, and Sunday’s forecast for Indianola is sunny to partly cloudy and breezy with a high of 76 degrees.
Sunday’s forecast also calls for heavy attendance at Harkin’s 30th Steak Fry, as Indianola becomes Democratic Party Ground Zero for the day. With his own re-election coming up next year, Harkin has lined up all six leading Democratic presidential candidates—Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson.
As of Thursday morning, the Harkin campaign had issued 137 press credentials, said spokesman Matt Paul, and had sold 7,000 tickets at $30 a pop for regular folks ($200 to $500 for hosts and sponsors). For that you get some meat and side dishes in a tent-and-picnic-table atmosphere, the company of most of the players in the Iowa Democratic Party, and a old-fashioned Democratic stem-winder Harkin speech. The host revels in the home-court advantage and the friendly partisan crowd, and usually rolls out a new joke at the expense of the GOP.
And you get the special guests.
The Steak Fry attendance record was set in 2003, ironically the year with the worst weather and the most-muddy members of presidential campaign staffs. About 12,000 people braved the iffy weather to see that year’s candidates. But the wannabes were trumped by the big guest—former President Bill Clinton.
Click here to read the rest of John Deeth’s entry on the Harkin Steak Fry on Iowa Independent