Small-town Alabama residents have said they were “outraged and appalled” by a local Christmas parade which featured a troupe of drag queens dressed in santa outfits.

The Prancing Elites, a group of drag queen dancers, were invited by organisers Friends of Semmes to attend the Semmes Christmas parade.

In an interview with Fox 10 News, troupe captain Kentrell Collins said he had every reason to believe they would be welcomed at the event.

“I said we’re all over 21 and we’re guys. She was so excited. She was like I didn’t know they had any groups like that in Mobile,” he said.

However, the group received an overwhelmingly negative reaction from attendees.

Claudia Davis, a mother who was interviewed by Fox 10 News, said: “I was outraged and appalled. I never expect anything like this at the Semmes Christmas parade.

“If they were gonna put this kind of activity in the parade, they should have notified the people of Semmes so that we had a choice whether we wanted out children to attend and see something like that.”

Mr Collins responded, saying: “We do want to apologise if we offended anybody who did not know who we were before today, but still at the end of the day, we only just came to dance and we did get invited.”

According to Ms Davis, the Friends of Semmes have now been removed as organisers for the Christmas parade, and the council has stepped in to organise the event for next year.

Recently, a US LGBT Republican group condemned a Christmas-themed video campaign aimed at encouraging gay people to sign up for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, calling it “cynical” and “pathetic.”