Garner residents voice displeasure with canceled Christmas parade

Wake County News

GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – People filled Monday’s town council meeting in Garner upset about the decision to cancel this year’s Christmas parade.

CBS 17 learned the cancellation stems from social media threats tied to the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) participating in the parade.

Many had strong words toward the town’s new city council.

“It’s sad to see adults cowering to the demands and threats from bullies,” Charles Dingee said.

People from all around the area voiced their opinions.

“What’s next for this all-American town?” Durwood Lassiter asked. “Are we going to cancel the firemen’s parade? Are we going to cancel the tree lighting Friday night? Are we going to stop having fireworks because a few people speak up and complain?”

Many disagree with the decision.

“How are the kids going to learn from history,” SCV honorary member Jenna Bernstein said. She added that her statements are not on behalf of the SCV organization.

Some understand the town’s decision.

“Why was the SCV in the parade in the first place?” Lalena Haro asked.

City council members responded, even posting a video online.

“I’d rather err on the side of personal safety for the good citizens of this town, rather than to be known as a town where a terrible tragedy occurred,” Mayor Ken Marshburn said.

Council members added that safety was especially important for children.

“The difference in Pittsboro, in Chapel Hill, in Durham, and in Charlottesville is this: they were all adults. The parade involves kids,” councilmember Gra Singleton said.

Some council members said they believe a lesson has been learned, as others hope to see the parade come back soon.

“We have to think things through, and make those hard decisions early on, and debate them out early on so that this will not happen again,” councilmember Elmo Vance said.

Marshburn said he believes it’s too late to re-schedule anything for this year, and that the previous council’s decision stands.

However, he added he’s willing to discuss further about what additional action the town could take in the future.

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