Springfield, Massachusetts was the site today for a good-natured election-themed promotion for the national release of a new children’s book.
It was a festive morning on Fairfield Street in the city’s Forest Park neighborhood. The modest house at 74 Fairfield was adorned with bunting and banners and balloons on the front lawn. There about 50 children, and several adults, gathered to hear the announcement that a certain cartoon character would figuratively toss an easily recognizable red and white striped stovepipe hat into the ring.
The Cat in the Hat was introduced as a candidate for president as the crowd cheered and chanted, "Cat. Cat.Cat."
The costumed Cat in the Hat and running-mates Thing 1 and Thing 2 stepped out on the porch of the house through a shower of soap bubbles to greet the adoring crowd and pose for pictures.
The talking was left to Susan Brandt, President, Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
"The Cat is a candidate who listens. He listens more than he speaks. He wants to make sure kid's voices are heard," said Brandt.
There is a website, catinthehat4prez.com, where children, and adults, can go and vote for a favorite cause. Choices include such concerns as keeping the oceans clean and feeding the hungry. Each cause is supported by a charity. The top vote getter will receive a $10,000 donation.
Tuesday’s faux political announcement corresponded with the release of a new Cat in the Hat book “One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote.” Brandt said it was written to teach kids about elections and voting.
The house where Tuesday’s event was staged was the childhood home of the Cat in the Hat’s creator, Theodor Geisel.
" Attention all gentle ladies and gentle non-ladies. We have driven here today in a vintage non-Mercedes. To this place in the city of firsts at the home of a man in whose books we are all well-versed,"said City Council President Mike Fenton, who was inspired to write some rhymes for his speech.
He said it was a big deal for Springfield to host the national rollout of the new book.
" We are glad that Dr. Seuss Enterprises shares that same pride in affiliation between Dr. Seuss and the city of Springfield," said Fenton.
After the announcement on Fairfield Street, the dignitaries rode off in convertible automobiles in a motorcade for a free public party at the Springfield Museums.
Museums President Kay Simpson hopes the Cat in the Hat’s announcement gives a boost to the project to build in Springfield the world’s first Dr. Seuss museum.
"It is a $7 million project. We are currently at $5.4 million. We want to conclude our campaign this December, so we are asking the public to support us and make contributions to our cause," Simpson said in an interview.
The new museum is tentatively scheduled to open to the public in June 2017.