Downtown Raleigh restaurateurs Angela Salamanca and Vansana Nolintha are organizing a second “Parade to Vote” event for Sunday afternoon starting at the N.C. State University bell tower.
Within 24 hours last week, Salamanca and Nolintha pulled together a parade to lead voters to a downtown polling site on Thursday, the first day of early voting. They hired a mariachi band and Salamanca drove to Saxapahaw to borrow some towering puppets from Paperhand Puppet Intervention. They texted other restaurant owners to get them and their staffs to join the parade through downtown to the Wake County Board of Elections to cast their ballots.
This election season, Nolintha said he and Salamanca were frustrated by the negative ads, speeches and the intensity of emotion. “As immigrants, we wondered why people weren’t celebrating the act of voting itself,” he said Wednesday.
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Sunday’s parade will start at the bell tower at noon and head east along Hillsborough Street to Citrix, Red Hat and end at the Wake County Board of Elections on Salisbury Street. The polls open at 1 p.m. Nolintha is encouraging folks who want to join them to get to the bell tower by 11:30 a.m.