Feeling that parades and politics don’t mix

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Dear Editor,

Free speech is a wonderful thing. It is one of our basic freedoms. Freedom comes with responsibility and discretion. These need to be applied in public venues such as our Fourth of July parade.

As mayor, I have had to defend this right of free speech to many after our Fourth of July parade. Apparently, there were a couple of entries who pushed the envelope on what is appropriate for our parade.

The chamber of commerce apparently recognized this by putting a disclaimer statement regarding entries in the parade. I was at the front of the parade and missed seeing most of it.

The words used in describing what people saw were irresponsible, bad judgment, offensive unbelievable and at best poor taste.

These entries apparently had strong political statements that were offensive to many of the people along the parade route.

These kinds of statements and actions during a venue such as the Fourth of July parade are divisive at best. Political statements of this kind are best carried out at a protest rally.

The chamber of commerce puts countless hours into the parade and our Fourth of July event in hopes in attracting people to our community who will spend money and enhance our economy.

Many of the folks who visit Mount Shasta on the Fourth of July come to see a small town parade. Many who grew up here want to see a parade that reminds them of their childhood or maybe a simpler life.

Some said they probably would not come watch the parade in the future if this is the sort of thing that represents our community.

In the future, I would ask that entries in the Fourth of July parade be designed with some empathy for those who might not agree with your particular political stance.

Russ Porterfield

Mount Shasta