Several members of Barrington Area Secular Humanists (BASH) hosted a booth for the Secular Coalition for America Illinois Chapter at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock, Illinois, August 3 – August 5. Several thousands attend the State Fair each year, and many were happy to see a secular organization represented at their local public event for the first time.
Our booth was staffed with at least two people all day, every day and we personally greeted hundreds of visitors. Many people had never heard of the Secular Coalition, and this gave us the opportunity to explain why separation of church and state is important to everyone, regardless of one’s religion. Our primary goal was to generate publicity and educate the public about the Secular Coalition, as well as let them know about events in the local area for secular humanists.
We were joined by the Chicago area Chair of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and handed out various types of literature, as well as mini-beach balls, pens, key fobs, buttons, and bumper stickers and signed people up to receive Secular Coalition Action Alerts.
Fair attendance reaches nearly 100,000 people annually, and we received a lot of exposure for the secular cause. With nearly one quarter of the US population identifying as nonreligious in one way or another, we represent a growing voting bloc. We enjoyed presenting ourselves and our agenda to the public and look forward to doing this again in the near future.