Holiday Parades Split Over Use of 'Christmas'

In 2011, some participants were not happy with board members calling Tulsa's seasonal celebration a 'Holiday Parade,' and sought out a change.

"[It was] an attempt to just put the word, 'Christmas' back in the title," said Josh McFarland. That was the goal for a group of organizers who split away from the downtown parade and started their own at the Tulsa Hills shopping complex.

Josh McFarland was one of the board members involved in the change and says, the plan was to get one word put back in the original parade's name. "That's been the drive, just to get the word, 'Christmas' put back in the title. Once that was done, we went away," McFarland said.

'Holiday Parade' organizers proposed a compromise this year - an agreement to call the parade, 'The Holiday Parade of Lights: A Celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Other Holidays.' But, Tulsa Hills christmas parade organizers did not go for the plan. "We want to work together, we want to merge the parades, we want to have one big parade that the whole region can come to, and then at that point you still say, 'Well, I know you're willing to do that now, but we're still going to compete with you,'" McFarland said.

He says, he was pleased with the compromise, but still faces opposition from Tulsa Hills organizers, who he says, do not think the name goes far enough.

Mcfarland says, he believes, the split is shedding negative light on Tulsa and Christians. "That's like running the score up and I'm not willing to run the score up. I feel like we asked for something, it was given to us, and it's now time to be adults, say thank you, count our blessings, and go and spread the good word."

Tulsa's Channel 8 contacted board members with the Tulsa Hills 'Christmas Parade,' but they were unavailable for comment.