Christmas parade planners could tighten rules, attorney says

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM.

Many residents also criticized parade planners for approving the ministry’s application. The Crestview organization has issued apologies for those offended.

Main Street organizers made no formal decisions after meeting Dec. 5 to discuss the issue, but members were open to changing next year’s guidelines. Suggestions included designating participants’ positions in the procession; if applicants didn’t accept their given position, they wouldn't be allowed to participate.

 One member suggested publicly posting a roster in advance so parade-goers could avoid messages from organizations they might find offensive.   

Mike Ryan of Crestview said he likes the idea. However, he said, if Save Me from the Fire participates in 2013, he and his family would not attend.

"There are plenty of other parades to attend in the area," said Ryan, who didn’t attend this year’s parade since his 3-year-old son was sick. He heard about what happened from other residents who expressed their outrage on the News Bulletin’s Facebook page.

Ryan supports people exercising their First Amendment rights, but he said the situation should fit the setting.

On the humorous side, Ryan offered relative’s suggestion for how parade officials could deal with controversial applicants.

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