The Norman Transcript

Local news

December 7, 2005

Christmas or holiday?

?Change in parade name has one Norman resident ho-ho-hopping mad

By James S. Tyree

Transcript Staff Writer

The annual event known for decades as the Norman Christmas Parade has been renamed the Norman Holiday Parade, and at least one area resident is mad as heck about it.

Cleveland County resident Bobby Cleveland said the name change is part of a nationwide attempt by liberals to erase any mention of Jesus and Christianity from the public domain. He is scheduled to discuss the topic 7:30 a.m. today as a guest of the Mark Shannon Show on WKY-AM 930.

"This is just a start, in my opinion, to take Christ out of Christmas," Cleveland said, adding that resisting the name change "is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. People involved in this are on both sides."

Cleveland is a leader in the Cleveland County Republican Luncheon Club.

The parade will begin 10 a.m. Saturday along Main Street, from Norman High School parking lot east to Crawford Avenue. This year's theme is "Toyland on Main Street."

He urges parade participants and spectators to bring Christmas Parade signs and banners to the event, with an emphasis on "Christ." He said he has tried repeatedly to reach organizers by telephone and e-mail, to find out who changed the name and why, but has heard no reply.

The event became the Norman Holiday Parade last year with little fanfare. Parade committee member Jennifer Baker said the body -- comprised entirely of practicing Christians -- voted for the change as a way to embrace community members of all faiths.

"We're not trying to be politically correct, we're trying to be fair," Baker said. "It's the holiday season so we changed the name. We would never, ever, ever take Christ out of Christmas, we're just opening it up to everyone."

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