Skip to comments.Parade name change by mayor spurs boycott
Posted on 11/26/2005 12:00:04 PM PST by pissant
ENCINITAS Three community groups and members of a Jewish temple are boycotting this year's holiday parade because the city reverted to a name that they said discriminates against non-Christian religions: the Christmas Parade.
Mayor Dan Dalager said he used his prerogative as mayor to ask staff members to change the name.
"Some years ago, someone in their bureaucratic wiseness decided to change the name to Holiday Parade. I just changed it back to its historically correct name," he said. "It's no big deal.
"There is a Christian holiday called Christmas that is celebrated in churches, and there is a Christian holiday called Christmas that is about Santa Claus and reindeer and snowmen and getting together with family and friends and having parades and all this stuff," Dalager said. "We are celebrating the American holiday called Christmas."
He said he will not change the name back.
The annual parade along South Coast Highway 101, the city's main drag, will be held Dec. 3 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Critics of the name change said the city is turning back the clock on religious and cultural tolerance at a time when many organizations have changed their Christmas celebrations to religion-neutral names, such as December Nights at Balboa Park instead of Christmas on the Prado.
They said the city should not favor a religion when it spends $4,000 to organize the parade, and they are trying to figure out how to change the name back to Holiday Parade.
"It is the ignorance that bothers me, the philosophy, the desire to exclude people, whether intentional or not," said Olivenhain resident Nan Sterman, who is Jewish.
Three community groups that had participated in previous parades have pulled out or indicated they will not take part this year because of the name change, said Chris Hazeltine, the city's parks and recreation director.
They are Leucadia Town Council, Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southern California and Girl Scouts Seacoast Service Unit in Encinitas.
Rabbi David Frank of Temple Solel said many of the 800 households in his congregation will not attend.
"It makes it very difficult, obviously, to participate in this specifically Christian observance," Frank said.
Hazeltine said the mayor changed the parade's name at the beginning of this year when the city began planning its events.
Some critics accused Dalager of soliciting the support of two other council members in secret to switch from the Holiday Parade, violating the "Ralph M., Brown Act," which deems illegal any secret meetings among a majority of a legislative body.
Dalager denied the allegations and said he acted alone.
The number of community organizations applying to participate this year has dropped from last year's 95 to 82, Hazeltine said.
Last year's event attracted 30,000 spectators, city officials said.
Jennifer Zaayer, vice president of Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southern California, said participating in the event would be taking a step backward.
"This reeks of a political time when people have their own agendas," she said. "I was shocked it was changed without being on the agenda for public comment."
Right on target!
You're exactly right, Jennifer -- about you and your PC ilk.
If some lamebrain mayor before him could change it unilaterally, then he can change it back. Let the whiners whine.
As was the well known carpenter whom the parade honors.
I'm sure that is Michael Newdow's next project. Sue the federal gov't for having a Christmas national holiday. He's sooooooooo offended.
My goal, besides supporting our military to stamp out the islamo-scum terrorists, is to see the PCism is dead and buried before I am! ;o)
Oh my! Great point!
screw the boycotters with a barbed shaft
Exactly. How many Christians do you know who are "offended" by jewish holidays? None.
That is the ultimate answer. Right now, they're just fighting the symptoms. As long as Christmas is a federal holiday, there is nothing wrong with having Christmas parades. Trying to abolish individual Christmas parades and displays while leaving the underlying Christmas holiday intact will only keep the fight going.
I don't think they'll ever be successful in removing Christmas as a national holiday.
We should all send the Mayor a big fat "thankyou" note!
I'm offended by the easily offended PC crowd. Surely my offended sensibilities are as valid as theirs!
He's already going after "In God We Trust" now, after he was rejected for the Pledge.
Large diameter too.