I admit bias for my hometown, but fact is it’s one of the friendliest cities in Florida. When we moved here, I relied on the kindness of strangers to help me navigate what is reportedly the largest city land-wise in the contiguous United States. Drive around this place for awhile, and you’ll realize exactly what that means.
The 2012 Red State Gathering will be held in Jacksonville on Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5 at the Omni Hotel.
If you’re considering coming or you've already registered, you will find a warm welcome in the First Coast City as locals call it. Jacksonville is a hybrid city, a mix of Southern customs and international cultures. I once told a friend I could pick up my cleaning, stop by a deli and grab a last minute item from a small grocer and hear at least 3 languages besides English or Spanish.
This year’s gathering will bring conservative activists from across the nation to hear a number of high profile speakers. Gov. Bobby Jindal will be there; so will Republican National Committee chair Reince Preibus. U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz (Texas) will return; his remarks last year drew a record crowd and lots of applause. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will also be there; Jordan is chairman of the Republican Study Committee and a solid conservative voice in the U.S. House.
David Limbaugh, author of The Great Destroyer, will be there.
Other guests include Gov. Rick Scott (Fla.), Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisc.) and the man who has become a symbol for Main Street America, Joe the Plumber. Joe’s full name is Joe Wurzelbacher, and he’s running for the 9th District Ohio seat in the U.S. Congress.
Red State editor Erick Erickson will also be there.
Attendees will also have the option of participating in activist training from American Majority, in addition to other workshops and presentations.
It’s possible there may be a last minute surprise announcement—you really never know what to expect because this gathering isn’t your typical political event.
Speakers pay their own way to come.
You’ll also find attendees well-informed on political happenings. Last year’s crowd wasn’t a cookie cutter crowd as far as I could tell. Attendees hail from across the nation.
After I attended last year, I said if there was one political gathering I could attend it would be the Red State Gathering. The registration fee is only $199—that is a bargain for sure. The gathering is an outgrowth of the popular and influential Red State website.
The Omni is a four diamond luxury hotel in the downtown area. You’ll be privy to a beautiful view of the mighty St. John’s, the longest river in Florida. The St. John’s is one of a handful of rivers that run North; it’s designated as an American Heritage River.
If you plan to travel to Jacksonville and there’s anything I can do to assist, please let me know. I love our city and I’m always eager to share it with others. I’ll do another column closer to the gathering and provide info on area restaurants, sites you might enjoy and a few notes on all those bridges we’re famous for. We also have a robust live music community here, with nightly performances by local musicians at area venues and restaurants.
I’ll file stories at The US Report about what I see and experience at Red State Gathering 2012, but I’d love to meet you in person. If you come, please make sure to say hello.
For more information, visit the Red State Gathering pages.
(Filed by Kay B. Day/July 14, 2012)
Related at The US Report