Tulsa poll: Put 'Christmas' back in downtown parade's name, majority says
By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Let's have a Christmas parade, for crying out loud.
That seems to be the attitude of a large majority of the Tulsans who participated in the most recent Oklahoma Poll, anyway.
Better than three-quarters of the 400 Tulsans surveyed for the Tulsa World by SoonerPoll.com said they want "Christmas" in the name of the city's annual downtown holiday parade.
"Christmas is set aside as the birthday for Christ," Richard Freeman said. "I don't see any reason to water that down or give it another name."
Tulsa's traditional downtown holiday parade dropped "Christmas" from its name in 2009 to be more inclusive. The resulting outcry led to the creation of a competing "Christmas Parade" at Tulsa Hills Shopping Center the past two years.
One of the organizers of that parade, Josh McFarland, subsequently joined the board of directors of the downtown parade with the intention of consolidating the two events. Out of that came a new name for the downtown parade: The Downtown Parade of Lights: A Celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays.
McFarland said he was satisfied with the compromise, but other organizers of the west side parade were not. So, Tulsa will again have two parades one at Tulsa Hills on Saturday and one downtown next Saturday.
"I think it's kind of silly to have two parades in one town," Darrell Hardin said. "I don't know what the word 'Christmas' hurts, but I'm not a Muslim or anything like that.
"When the nation started they didn't have all the different nationalities here now. Now about every country in the world is here. I think it's sad to say you can't have a Christmas parade. I don't think it was intended to offend anybody."
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About the Oklahoma Poll
The poll of 401 likely voters was conducted November 1-5 by SoonerPoll.com, using a random digit-dialing technique that included cellphone and landline telephone numbers. Results were weighted by gender, age and party. The poll was sponsored by the Tulsa World. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.
The full Call Dispositions and Rate Calculations were calculated by SoonerPoll.com and is available here.