CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin has announced that the city has decided to keep the name “Charleston Christmas Parade.” On Monday, October 7, 2019, the city announced they would be changing the name of the annual parade to “Winter Parade” in an effort to create an all-inclusive event for everyone to enjoy.
Mayor Goodwin, in a statement posted to Facebook on Thursday, October 10, 2019, said, “After much consideration and conversation with religious leaders from all faiths and community members, we have decided to keep the name, “Charleston Christmas Parade.” We understand the history and tradition of the parade and we want to continue that for years to come.”
It was also announced that the parade would no longer be held on a Saturday morning, but a Thursday night to accommodate busy families and benefit local businesses.
Mayor Amy Goodwin posted a video on Facebook explaining the City’s reasoning behind these original changes.
“The City of Charleston is an inclusive community. We want everyone to participate in this parade,” said Goodwin.
This news created much controversy between those who agree and disagree with the name change.
Senate President Mitch Carmichael sent a statement defending the Christmas Parade and believes the name change is an insult to the Constitution by banning the Freedom of Religion for parade participants.
“We are calling on Mayor Goodwin and her liberal allies to end this madness and allow our citizens to freely and fully exercise their Freedom of Religion with a CHRISTMAS PARADE,” said Carmichael.
He is encouraging those who also disagree with the change to contact Goodwin and the City of Charleston in defending the original name.
The parade is set for Thursday, December 12, 2019, with pre-events starting at 5 p.m. and the parade kicking off at 7 p.m.
Her full statement is below:
I truly appreciate all the calls, emails and feedback we have received over the last couple of days regarding the Charleston Christmas Parade. We decided to move the parade to the evening of Thursday, December 12 after consultation with business owners to create an amazing festive scene with window decorations and lights. In considering changing the name of the parade, we wanted to show that Charleston is a welcoming and inclusive City. We did not mean or intend any disrespect to any person, group or religion and we did not mean to exclude anyone from the parade, actually it is the exact opposite. We want to include EVERYONE.Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin
After much consideration and conversation with religious leaders from all faiths and community members, we have decided to keep the name “Charleston Christmas Parade.” We understand the history and tradition of the parade and we want to continue that for years to come.
It is truly amazing when citizens get involved in the process. I have said from the beginning we welcome input from everyone. Our staff does an amazing job taking phone calls and meetings with anyone and everyone that wants to participate in the process in a meaningful way. These citizen interactions are the cornerstone to any good government and will remain front and center in this Administration.
In addition to the parade, there will be a series of events starting at 5:00 p.m. that will celebrate a variety of cultures, religions, organizations and will be a celebration of all Charleston has to offer. The evening culminate with the Christmas Parade starting at 7:00 p.m. I want to personally invite everyone to downtown Charleston to not only come to these events, but to enjoy our amazing restaurants and shop our downtown. It will be a magical evening in Charleston.