Christmas Parades back in the news

ChristmasParade2011aThe Tulsa World features a story today on the Tulsa Christmas Parades that makes a mistake of fact. Bill Sherman writes, “No one noticed that first year.”

Tulsans “noticed” in 2009 when the word Christmas was removed from the title of the December parade in downtown Tulsa.

There was a street demonstration with sign carrying protesters in 2009 at the downtown parade.

Santa 2011 at Tulsa Hills

Santa 2011 at Tulsa Hills

The irony is that the nonprofit downtown group’s official incorporated name includes the word Christmas, but that didn’t stop them from removing it from the title and a group of Tulsans protested.

In advance of the 2010 downtown parade some, including this writer, protested to the Tulsa City Council, but did not protest on the streets during the event.

In 2011, this writer was the official organizer of the first Tulsa Christmas Parade held at Tulsa Hills – record of which was filed with the City of Tulsa – special event permit approved by the Tulsa City Council and Mayor.

Preparing for 2012, there was a split between organizers.

11"x17" Vertical Flyer TemplateJosh McFarland and Mark Croucher wanted to advance political candidates which I opposed and I withdrew the nonpolitical parade volunteer effort to avoid a further split (three parades). Croucher was defeated in a bid for public office and Josh McFarland was the campaign manager for Bill Christiansen’s failed primary campaign for mayor. Christiansen was the grand marshal of the Tulsa Hills parade in 2012.

The nonpolitical Christmas Parade volunteers have no plans this year.  This year Josh McFarland has joined the downtown group and Mark Croucher says he will continue.  The Tulsa World story has more detail on the latest dispute – see the link below.

One further editorial note:  I find it odd how the Tulsa World features the photo of the Islamic float (inflatable globe) as representing the downtown parade – almost as a point of pride.

Click here for the Tulsa World story.