Video: Neighboring town parade pokes fun at pregnant Gloucester girls
The media spotlight is shining on Gloucester once again after the Beverly Farms Horribles Parade featured three floats that mocked Gloucester and the pregnant teenagers living in the city.
Three of about a half-dozen floats in the annual parade played on the controversy. One included a large, realistic looking phallic symbol spraying water from the front of a truck while girls on the trailer were dressed in maroon and white (GHS’s school colors), sitting at desks in a sex ed class.
Another included girls with balls stuffed under their dresses dancing at what was labeled as a baby shower.
A third float showed a “greased pole” and had two young men wearing diapers riding around next to it on a two-person bicycle. Two floats featured a woman reclined with feet in stirrups, apparently ready to give birth. Placards with jokes with sexual references adorned the floats.
Beverly Citizen editor Dan MacAlpine videotaped the parade, drawing media attention statewide. The Beverly Citizen is a sister paper of the Cape Ann Beacon.
In a statement, Mayor Carolyn Kirk said, “The city of Gloucester is deeply offended by certain individuals trivializing and making a mockery of teenage pregnancy, which unfortunately is a national problem that we as a society must confront. Our focus in Gloucester is on addressing this issue and beginning a constructive and useful dialogue that will benefit our community. I am confident that Gloucester will rise to the challenge before us.”
The floats were positioned between young children riding bicycles, students playing in marching bands, and people marching as Minute Men.
Gloucester School Committee Chairman Greg Verga said the floats disgust him.
“As far as the individuals who put it together, I think they’re mental midgets. I don’t blame them as much as the parade organizers who [should have] said that’s in bad taste, it can’t go in the parade,” Verga said. “As a person who lived through this myself, I just think it’s not funny. These girls are going to have enough of an uphill climb, and then to be mocked like that is just not good.”
Three of the parade judges resigned after the parade, which kicked off at 8 a.m. on July 4.
Gloucester City Councilor Jason Grow said he was stunned to learn that only three judges resigned.
“It is incomprehensible that someone did not say to them, ‘You know, this is a really bad idea and you need to take this home because it’s not appropriate for our community,’” Grow said. “Forget about how Gloucester feels about it, if I were a member of Beverly I would be cringing at the thought … that it would be allowed in a family parade, that it would be awarded a prize, and that people wouldn’t just have shut it down right at the beginning.