U.S. Census Road Trip

National Census Day is coming up on April 1st.

That’s when your census form needs to be returned so that Congressional seats are apportioned accurately to all the states, and so that $400 billion in federal money gets sent out accurately by population.

And a fun effort at Marquette’s Econo Foods store today is encouraging everyone to take part.

The U.S. Census Bureau is doing a national Road Tour, giving out free items like tote bags and encouraging people to fill out their census form.

There was even a clown to give kids from Bothwell Middle School balloon animals and balloon headgear.

Local census office manager Vicki Estes Bruff says 98% of the people in the U.P. live at addresses that the Census Bureau considers rural, which means getting the census form hand-delivered.

The Road Tour includes an interactive computer kiosk.

If you want to, you can use the kiosk to record a 60-second video telling the Census Bureau about yourself and why you think it’s important to stand up and be counted.

Some people in more remote areas of the U.P. will get their form in an unconventional way.

Estes Bruff says if it were earlier in the winter, they’d use snowmobiles to get to folks that they can’t reach by car or on foot.

But with the melting snow and mud, they can’t use snowmobiles anymore, so they actually have field staff out on snowshoes.

Before it leaves the Upper Peninsula, the Census Road Tour bus will be making a stop tomorrow at NMU’s Vandament Arena.