• 70°

Editorial: Parade takes wrong turn

The Holiday Caravan is a monumental undertaking organized by a few devoted volunteers who want to help Rowan County usher in the Christmas season. Their hard work is commendable. But parade organizers made a mistake on parade day last Wednesday when they turned away six members of PFLAG — Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays — who had been invited to ride the Avita float.

Organizers give two reasons for this rejection. The PFLAG members’ shirts did not fit the description of the float that Avita Pharmacy had submitted to parade organizers — a requirement spelled out in parade policies. And, according to key volunteer Wesley Perry, the Holiday Caravan has the right to refuse participation “from any group or organization which does not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organization.”

The shirt explanation might be acceptable. Values are another matter. The Holiday Caravan’s values apparently call for excluding people who advocate equal rights and protections for LGBT people. That’s a sad reflection on the Salisbury-Rowan community — and an inaccurate one, for the most part. There may be a gray area in the PFLAG rejection when it comes to who applied to sponsor the float (Avita) and who showed up to help man it (PFLAG). In the end, though, this reads like a rejection of people advocating for LGBT rights, and on that there can be no gray area. They should have been permitted on the float.

The world has changed tremendously since 1952, when the Holiday Caravan got its start in Spencer. Jaycees from Salisbury and Spencer ran the show for many years, and the Salisbury-Rowan Merchants Association became a partner. Unfortunately, all those organizations have disappeared or disbanded.

The people carrying on the Holiday Caravan tradition appear to be a core group of volunteers who like parades and want to see this one continue. They are performing a public service, and for that they deserve thanks. However, they are leaving part of our community out of the parade. That “tradition” needs to change.

Comments

Coronavirus

Rowan County’s COVID-19 death toll tops 40 for September

College

Catawba-Wingate football game canceled

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 24

Coronavirus

Crowd turns out to raise money for hospitalized sheriff’s deputy

Coronavirus

COVID-19 death tally continues rising, now at 391 in Rowan County

Crime

‘No winners’: Mason found guilty in fish arcade murder trial

Local

Dixonville task force working to engrave names, quotes at cemetery

Coronavirus

Stage set for COVID-19 booster shots

News

Family finds unknown woman’s body in mother’s casket

Coronavirus

A third of workers in Cooper order not vaccinated

Nation/World

Remains of WWII soldier from North Carolina identified, will be buried in Robeson County

High School

State officials reach deal on prep sports governing, but details remain to be worked out

BREAKING NEWS

Mason found guilty in deadly fish arcade shooting

Crime

Blotter: Men stripped, robbed en route to buy beer

Crime

Jury begins deliberations in Fishzilla murder case

Education

East Rowan culinary students feed staff who helped build new classroom

Local Events

Rowan County Fair makes pandemic return Friday with COVID-19 protocols in place

Education

Education briefs: Schultz selected to NCDPI’s Teacher Leadership Council

Education

Catawba to induct six into Blue Masque Hall of Fame

Education

Cavs After Hours: A new tutoring space at North Rowan

Education

Shoutouts

Crime

Salisbury Police: Toyota Prius is most popular target for catalytic converter thieves

News

Salisbury City Council will vote on whether to exempt Goodwill developer from setback requirements

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office holding fundraiser for deputy hospitalized with COVID-19