Horns were honking, cheers were aplenty and thumbs were pointed high in the sky Wednesday afternoon as members of Villagers for Trump staged a rousing golf cart rally through parts of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
More than 25 golf carts were involved in the event, which was staged to show support for President Trump, gubernatorial candidate Congressman Ron DeSantis, attorney general hopeful Ashley Moody and Senate candidate Gov. Rick Scott.
“We’re going to have a ‘Red Wave,’” said a smiling Sue Frost, referring to Trump’s prediction of Republican dominance in the upcoming November midterm elections.
“We want to show that there is a positive force for Trump and we don’t like him, we love him!” added Denise Neal, who serves on the board of directors for Villagers for Trump.
The parade kicked off at 3 p.m. as more than 25 golf carts rolled out of the Barnes & Noble parking lot, many decked out with campaign signs and one with its top covered in strips of yellow tissue paper to resemble Trump’s trademark hair. With horns blaring and beaming faces, the group made a pass through Lake Sumter Landing and then snaked its way to Spanish Springs Town Square and back.
Along the way, many Villagers stopped to snap photographs. Some shared their views of Trump. And Joy Greenwood, a vendor setting up at Spanish Springs, went so far as to broadcast the parade on Facebook Live while cheering and offering her own running commentary.
“This is awesome,” said Greenwood, who was in the Navy and was working alongside her husband, Jeff, who served in the Marine Corps. “We’ve got to have the ‘Red Wave.’ We’ve got to have Trump in again.”
An hour after the parade started, the group was back in the Barnes & Noble parking lot talking about the success of the event.
“It was fabulous,” said Sue Cianci, of the Village of Charlotte, who serves as head of the Villagers for Trump Action Committee. “We got tons of beeps – good beeps. “We had a great time and it was lovely that people waved to us and were happy to see us.”
“It’s really nice to able to exercise our rights and go out and say who we’re for without fear,” said the Village of Pinellas resident, who rode in the parade with her husband, Joe.
Linda Liles, who said she appreciated the positive reaction from Villagers along the parade route, was busy afterward showing off her wavy American-flag-inspired dress that was the talk of many at the event.
“I just found this dress and if I would have bought a hundred of them, I could have sold them all,” she said with a grin.
“If you show up at a Trump rally, he’s going to pull you up on stage,” added her friend, Donna Biscardi, of the Village of Fenney.
Biscardi, who was in the parade with her husband, David, said she’s thrilled to see Villagers for Trump continuing to grow. As of this month, the group founded by Villager David Gee has about 1,000 members.
“It’s building and we’re talking over in Fenney,” she said. “You’ve got to keep telling people. You’ve got to get the word out. We love our president.”
Neal said she believes the response the group enjoyed Wednesday is an indication of something very important.
“It just lets you know how the future election is going to be,” said the Village of Caroline resident.
Neal, who also is the owner of the golf cart sporting the tissue-paper replica of Trump’s hair, said she was proud to have her two grandsons visiting from Maine, 18-year-old Tristan Colby and 17-year-old Nick Burtis, participating in the parade.
“They’re young voters and they’ll be voting for the very first time in the election in 2020,” Neal said. “They’re Trump fans and they’re getting in the spirit of being active in a political manner.”
Colby called Trump “the greatest” and said he’ll definitely do his part to help him get re-elected in two years.
“It’s good to support him because some people have kind of a bad view of him,” he said. “(We’re) going to change that.”