Two North Carolina towns have canceled their Christmas parades over fears that planned floats that would reference the Confederacy would invoke fights or violence, ABC News reports. The cancellations come amid other cities canceling, moving, or otherwise altering their Christmas parade plans due to social/political issues.
This week, the town of Wake Forest became the second North Carolina community to cancel its annual Christmas parade. For as long as anyone can remember, the town of about 44,000 people has had a Christmas parade. For this year’s parade, one of the planned floats was to be put on by the Sons & Daughters of the Confederacy.
Depending on your point of view, the agency is either a fraternal/social society intended for fellowship among the descendants of Confederate soldiers, with a view toward erecting and preserving monuments to such men, or it’s an historical revisionist society aimed at promoting the idea that the Confederate cause was a just one.
As recently as last week, the Wake Forest parade was still on the calendar, with the Confederate float. However, Police Chief Jeff Leonard said the parade was still scheduled when he thought only about 10 protesters would show up. He’s since learned that the number of protesters is expected to be closer to 200. Fearing that things could get out of hand, he says, the decision was made to cancel the parade.
Some kids who were looking forward to being in the parade are going to be disappointed, he said, but it’s better than risking violence.
“We aren’t happy telling kids they can’t attend or participate in this year’s parade — but it’s better than trying to explain to a parent whose child was injured despite so many warning signs,” Leonard said.
— North State Bank (@NorthStateBank) December 8, 2018
A week earlier, another North Carolina town, Garner, also canceled its own Christmas parade over the matter of a pro-Confederate float.
As Spectrum News reported last week, officials began fearing that the town parade would be “targeted for disruption” after word got out that the Sons of Confederate Veterans were planning on staging a float, as they had done in the past.
“Is the Town of Garner trying to send the message that racism is welcome in the community?” wrote Move Silent Sam, a group that is, among other things, focused on the removal of Confederate monuments.
In a press release, town officials said that they were concerned that violence might erupt and made the decision to cancel the parade. Authorities did not indicate whether the Move Silent Sam post influenced that decision.
Outside of North Carolina, the topic of Christmas parade floats has derailed at least one other town Christmas parade. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the town of Troy, Tennessee, canceled its Christmas parade after threats of violence popped up surrounding a float that was to feature an LGBTQ pride flag and bear the message, “Love Everybody.”