Here’s how a few local ladies describe the Huntsville, Utah 4th of July parade, “No big fancy floats, just a lot of kids, tractors, and candy. Anyone who wants can enter and ride/walk the parade route which makes it really fun for locals since we know most of the people in the parade.” Well it turns out a couple of people they didn’t know hightailed it to a nearby newspaper to complain about one of the entries.
HUNTSVILLE — Youngsters dressed as Secret Service agents and an individual wearing a Barack Obama mask signaled to spectators from a limo at Wednesday’s Huntsville Fourth of July parade — an entry with the kind of political speech that our country protects.
The sign on the side read: “Huntsville Welcomes Obama Farewell Tour?”
But it was the banner on the back of the limo that some riled spectators say went too far. According to a photo provided to the Standard-Examiner Friday morning, it read: “Ask about our assault gun plan,” with “contact Eric Holder” in smaller type.
Some spectators thought this was an implied threat against the President.
By some spectators, they apparently mean the two quoted in the article. The “implied threat” part is the where the writer really has to stretch. Maybe we take for granted the news here, but it’s totally obvious that the bumper sign is a reference to Fast and Furious. Here’s the sign:
The event organizers even checked to make sure there wasn’t any problem (apart from taste) with the float.
One of the parade organizers, who asked not to be identified, said not everyone was offended by the parade entry. To make sure, she had a nearby Weber County sheriff’s deputy take a look at the float before the parade began; he said he didn’t see anything wrong with it, the organizer said.
“A lot of people loved it,” the organizer said. “So many people were cracking up at it. … It’s freedom of speech, and if people don’t like it, they have the right to express that.”
Weber County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Mark Lowther said the deputy evidently determined that the entry’s statements didn’t rise to the level of a crime.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” he said. “Everyone wants to exercise free speech, but as soon as someone’s offended by it, they want us as law enforcement to act on it. It’s one of those things you can’t have both ways.”
So maybe this wasn’t the greatest idea – a political statement entry – for a 4th of July parade, but it’s certainly nothing threatening in any way.
Photos via Ogden Valley Adventures