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City of Avondale Estates responds to controversy over Trump sign in parade, says it respects free speech

Avondale Estates

City of Avondale Estates responds to controversy over Trump sign in parade, says it respects free speech

A Trump/Pence campaign sign appeared at the end at the Avondale Estates Fourth of July Parade.
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The Avondale Estates 4th of July is a colorful and usually nonpartisan affair.

But this year a truck bearing a campaign sign for Donald Trump stirred up controversy. The sign was on the front of a pickup truck hauling a “Friends of Santa Claus” float.

In this video provided by Rhonda Patterson, the sign appears at the end of the parade about 22 minutes into the video.

The sign prompted some head shaking among attendees and lots of angry chatter on social media.

The city of Avondale Estates said the campaign sign was not approved or endorsed by the city. That said, the city believes its a First Amendment issue.

“The City regrets that the divisive nature of a certain float that participated in the Parade had a negative impact on some community members’ enjoyment of the event,” a statement from the city says. “At future events, the City will ask all participants to celebrate in a manner that is positive and not divisive. However, the City believes firmly in the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment and will continue to respect this fundamental right.”

Here’s the full statement from the city of Avondale Estates:

Statement from the Board of Mayor and Commissioners

For many years the City of Avondale Estates’ Fourth of July Parade has provided an opportunity for our community to celebrate our nation’s founding with a fun, family-oriented event. The City has been honored over the years to have local and state political leaders participate in the Parade, in a manner that is positive and respectful to everyone attending the Parade.

One of the great aspects of the Parade is the floats that neighbors create and decorate.  Over the years, floats have respected the nature of the Parade by avoiding displaying divisive political messages.  Unfortunately, the City is aware that not every participant in the 2019 Fourth of July Parade respected the traditional positive, non-divisive nature of the event.

Please know that any political campaign sign that you may have seen on a float in the Parade was not approved or endorsed by the City of Avondale Estates, City staff or any City elected official. Any political sign displayed at the Parade expressed a participant’s private opinion and did not speak for the City of Avondale Estates.

The City regrets that the divisive nature of a certain float that participated in the Parade had a negative impact on some community members’ enjoyment of the event.  At future events, the City will ask all participants to celebrate in a manner that is positive and not divisive. However, the City believes firmly in the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment and will continue to respect this fundamental right.

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