TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — The annual Christmas parade by the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance and first-ever holiday parade by the City of Taylor both went off without trouble Saturday night despite being set for the same time and location. This after a month of heightened tension after TAMA changed its rules of entry for its parade, effectively banning LGBTQ members to participate.
“It looked like everyone had a great time. I’m glad we could give them that,” said Pastor Jeff Ripple with TAMA.
The group had about 33 entries that marched down Main Street ahead of the holiday parade.
Several entries were from congregations as far as an hour away, said Ripple. He says since the scrutiny around the parades began, supporters have reached out to his church.
“It’s encouraging. Even a man from Australia reached out to offer support. Thank you for taking a stand. For standing up for your convictions,” said Ripple.
Taylor Pride gathered around 5 p.m. Saturday to put the final touches on its parade. The overall theme being, “From Our Family to Yours,” which was written on the back of the float.
President of Taylor Pride Denise Rodgers says selecting the theme was a direct reference to the changes made to the rules of participation for this year’s Christmas parade.
“On the applications, one of the requirements was traditional family values, and this is what tradition families look like,” said Rodgers.
TAMA has made several social media posts referencing drag queens that were featured on last year’s Taylor Pride float, and pushed that it was not affiliated with such floats this year just before the parade.
Drag queen Alexandria Van Cartier rode on Taylor Pride’s float and says opposition like this is nothing new.
“I think what happens is people sexualize drag and that’s not what it is. It is a creative art form. If you don’t like it don’t watch us,” said Cartier.
Some watchers were confused by the gap in parades. Taylor resident Rochelle Hall-Shewarz says she knew about the feuding parades and hopes the community forms one parade once again in the future.
“I think we need to come together, get past it and just see how can we move forward,” said Hall-Shewarz.