CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — When the annual Charleston Christmas Parade was changed to the “Charleston Winter Parade” by the city’s mayor, Amy Goodwin, in October it caused a massive public reaction.
“When I was elected to this position, I made a promise, and that promise was to make sure that everyone in this city is included and feels included,” said Goodwin in an interview back in October after the name change.
The change faced pushback from not only community members but local political leaders and even made national headlines before the mayor decided to change the name back just days later.
Some local religious leaders, on the other hand, commend Goodwin for thinking about inclusivity.
“I appreciated what she was doing and I understand she probably had some severe headwinds but at the same time I appreciate that we have leaders thinking about ‘how can we make this a more inclusive and loving community’,” says Rabbi Victor Urecki
The controversy around the parade hasn’t seemed to hurt their numbers at all, in fact, there are nearly double the participants this year than there were in 2018.
“I think the message was we want everyone to participate we want everyone to be included and that’s what we are going to have,” says Goodwin.
With the one-hundred-and-forty plus participants, Goodwin feels confident you will see that.
“The university of charleston is going to have the fifty students that they have representing the fifty different countries at the university students from fifty different countries are going to be holding their country flag walking through the parade. Isn’t that amazing?” says Goodwin.
The parade will take place on Thursday, December 12th at 7 pm.