July 6, 2022 Updated 10:41 A.M. ET
NAPLES (FLV) – Residents allege that the group “Naples Pride” broke parade decoration rules while participating in the 4th of July parade Monday.
The 2022 July 4th parade rules says that vehicles must be fully decorated on all four sides and participants must dress in a July 4th/patriotic theme. Entries not following the rules will be removed from the parade.
Naples resident Diane Van Parys was not pleased that the city allowed Naples Pride vehicles and decorations to continue in the parade without full decorations.
“The biggest reason is the fourth of July parade is all about honoring our Independence Day,” Parys said. “And so everyone has to follow the rules.”
Naples Pride had a green jeep without any Patriotic-themed decorations, instead covered with rainbows and pride decorations.
Naples Pride President Cori Cracium told Florida’s Voice the group hoped July 4th would bring visibility and awareness to the LGTQ+ community.
“Naples Pride is disheartened to learn some in the community took issue with our LGBTQ+ organization being included in the Independence Day parade, despite the organization proudly displaying red, white and blue and patriotic symbols on our vehicle, float, and sign that read ‘freedom and equality for all,'” Cracium said.
“Despite a polarizing year, Naples Pride had hoped the Fourth of July parade would be an opportunity for our community to come together in mutual celebration of equality and independence.”
“There was no one there that could have said, ‘Oh, wait a minute, you guys are violating the rules,’” Parys said.
Parys has participated in the parade for 10 years and said the parade is known for being filled with children.
“This group in the St. Patty’s Day Parade, they would have done fine with all their pride flags and all that, but not in the patriotic Fourth of July parade.”
People who want to participate in the parade need to send in an application detailing their plans to decorate. Parys said several people had already called the City of Naples to complain about the decorations by the time she called Tuesday morning.
Florida’s Voice reached out to the City of Naples for comment.
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