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Goodwin decides to keep Charleston Christmas Parade name following criticism

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin has announced the City of Charleston will keep the name of the Charleston Christmas Parade after all.

On Thursday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline,’ Goodwin announced that the city listened and learned following backlash from a suggested name change of the parade to the Charleston Winter Parade.

Amy Goodwin

“I have listened over the past two days. I have talked with a lot of religious leaders, including my pastor and folks of all faith communities, and we have decided to keep the name of Charleston Christmas Parade,” Goodwin told MetroNews.

The City of Charleston announced on Monday that changes were coming to the annual parade including the name and date, making the parade a weeknight instead of a Saturday.

Goodwin said the city’s intention was certainly not a ‘war on Christmas’ but the suggestion was made because Charleston is a welcoming and inclusive city and wanted to be welcoming to all. She said business owners in downtown are thrilled with it being an evening parade during the week.

“We understand the history and the tradition of the parade and we want to continue that. We certainly didn’t mean any intention of disrespect of any person, any group. I was raised in the Catholic Church,” Goodwin said.

Criticism from the name change was seen all over the state through social media posts including from state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and state Senate President Mitch Carmichael.

Carmichael said Wednesday in a released statement, “It is clear, these radicals have no interest in our Christmas traditions or in following our United States Constitution. 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.”

Goodwin has now reversed course and said on ‘Talkline’ this is about the children and welcoming all to downtown Charleston for celebration.

“The type of and the kind of vitriol that has come forth since announcing this suggested change has been really hurtful and disappointing,” Goodwin said.

“Let me say this, I respect everyone’s individual freedoms to bring that to my doorstep. When we took office we said we always had an open door and everyone had a seat at the table. All religions, all faiths, all organizations.”

Rules for Christmas parade floats, which is directed by the Charleston Town Center Mall,  were also amended on Thursday. The rules currently state “all float entries must be family-friendly and presented in a respectful manner” in a rule that previously said “no advocating, opposing or depicting of any political, religious figures or social issues.”

The parade is scheduled for Thursday, December, 12.

Goodwin released a statement shortly after her appearance on MetroNews ‘Talkline.’

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