A town’s Christmas parade was cancelled after threats a ‘love is love’ rainbow float would be pelted with tomatoes
The west Tennessee town of Troy truly got into the festive spirit by demanding that a ‘love everybody’ float in a Christmas parade be torn down and threatened tomato-based violence.
Dwight Tittle, 47, came up with the idea of a float based on the Bible verse: ‘Let us love one another, for love is God.’
Hoisted above the float would have been a flag featuring hands raised over a rainbow background, bearing resemblance to the LGBT+ Pride flag, reported the Jackson Sun.
However, the design ignited outrage from locals, enraged that the Christmas celebration could relate to the queer community.
As a result, some residents threatened Tittle that they would toss tomatoes and jaw-breakers at the float.
Holidays parade cancelled following threats of violence towards rainbow float.
Tittle explained the his float would have seen his gay son walking beside it.
As a careers advisor, Tittle invited everyone who is “different” he’s met through his work to come join him.
But he claimed that several Troy residents – some of whom he has known for years – shunned him and his float idea on social media and even received intimidating late-night phone calls.
One local suggested people throw 2.5 inch jawbreakers at the float and occupants. Others suggested they batter it with tomatoes.
The city of Troy earlier this week announced that the parade was cancelled “due to continued scheduling conflicts”, officials wrote in a Facebook post.
Yet, speculated swirled in the comment section, as many Troy residents suspected the threats of violence were to blame.
Troy mayor Deanna Chappell said a large number of volunteers won’t be available for December 14.
“Since we made our statement about the cancellation of the Christmas parade, we have had a lot of interest from citizens wanting to find solutions for our parade issues,” Chappell said Tuesday.
“Several of the ideas brought to light are showing promise, and we are actively working to come up with a plan to make a parade happen.”
She also clarified to the paper that all floats would be accepted by parade organisers as long as they are within “reasonable taste” for a holiday-themed parade.
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Float will run at another parade, but designer remains weary of backlash.
Tittle came up with the idea for the float after joking to his wife he wanted to buy an “antique tractor” to feature in the parade.
His wife asked him what the float was about, to which he replied: “Let’s just tell everybody we love them.'”
Tittle’s float will run still, albeit, at a neighbouring town Union City’s Christmas Parade.
“If the crowd responds [negatively], we’re going to turn the Mariah Carey up loud and we’ll just keep right on going,” Tittle said.
“We’ve got a lot of children on the float.
“A lot of families have committed to wanting to ride with us.
“I guess I’ve almost backed off of wanting kids on there because I’m afraid of what’s going to be said, or if somebody were to throw something.”