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Census bus aims to educate and entertain
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2010 Portrait of Hall County
U.S. Census bus stop with family activities

When: 3-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Front lawn of Brenau University, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville

How much: Free

The U.S. Census bus will be rolling into Hall County on Saturday, and local officials are rolling out the red carpet with an afternoon filled with activities.

In addition to the census vehicle, there will be free, family-fun activities including an Easter egg hunt, live music and various giveaways.

The bus will be parked near the front lawn of Brenau University, and the public is invited to participate in the 2010 Portrait of Hall County activities from 3 to 5 p.m.

The bus is one of 12 regional vehicles that travel across the country to educate the public about the importance of filling out, and returning the census forms. Each vehicle has a different name to illustrate to the public the many ways the census can affect them. For instance, the Atlanta regional vehicle is named “representation.”

According to Census Bureau officials, the U.S. House of Representatives originally had 65 members, but it has grown to 435 seats.

Individual states could gain additional seats in the House depending on census results. The census could also determine how billions of federal dollars are distributed to communities.

“We want to go from being a donor county to being a fair-recipient count. We want to make sure we get our fair share of tax dollars back into this community,” said Bill Lightfoot, co-chairman of the Hall County Complete Count Committee.

“During the last census, we had an undercount, so essentially we lost tax dollars.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to adopt a pet and to hear census messages from local leaders. Children and the young at heart will also be able to make their mark on an actual portrait of the county.

“We will have some paints and a large banner for them to get creative with. They can sign their name, make hand-prints or whatever they want to contribute to this piece of art,” Lightfoot said.

“Ultimately, we hope to display it at the community service center, but depending on other arrangements that we are able to make, we may be able to post it in other areas around the community. By getting the community involved in (Saturday’s activities) we hope to reinforce to people the need for supporting the census and mailing it back.”

Regional events