The festival also has hosted former first lady Laura Bush, who has been an advocate for at least one prominent politician.
Home court advantage • The late Randy Horiuchi, a longtime Salt Lake County officeholder and former Utah Democratic Party boss, often mused about ways to win elections.
One of the most important campaign strategies, he would say, is participating in local parades. Candidates can wave to — and shake hands with — thousands of constituents in a joyful setting within just a couple of hours.
With that in mind, one of the three candidates on next month's Republican primary ballot in the special election to replace Jason Chaffetz in the 3rd Congressional District got to be the grand marshal of that same Freedom Festival Parade in Provo that banned the LGBT resource center.
The other two GOP hopefuls didn't get to participate at all.
That's because John Curtis, the lucky candidate who enjoyed all that exposure Tuesday just a month before the primary, is Provo's mayor. The other two — former state Rep. Chris Herrod and investment adviser Tanner Ainge — are, well, not.
So the boost given to one congressional wannabe may be justified because of his position, but it's a heck of a boost just the same.
Speaking of Herrod • He qualified for the primary by besting a number of other Republicans at a GOP convention, while the other two reached the ballot through petition signatures.
Convention delegates generally are considered more conservative and strident on certain issues than the average Republican, so a before-and-after glimpse of Herrod's campaign is amusing.
Before the convention, when only the delegates mattered, Herrod's website contained all sorts of right-wing screeds, mostly about illegal immigrants and comparing their spread to the Ebola virus.
After the GOP gathering, those comments were deleted, now that a wider audience is needed to win the primary.