Blacktip Island holiday parade organizers are hoping this year’s all-inclusive theme will attract more than the one car that participated in last year’s Christmas parade. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/BTT staff)
Blacktip Island will host a cross-denominational holiday parade Saturday afternoon, celebrating the multiple religions with holidays in December island residents will be observing, organizers said.
“We started out planning the annual Christmas parade, but then a hullaballoo broke out between members of different religions,” Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council president Jerrod Ephesians said. “Folks wanted us to include Hanukkah, Kwanza, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Chalica and a bunch of others I can’t remember.
“The compromise solution was to have a generic ‘holiday’ parade,” Ephesians said. “It didn’t make everybody happy, but at least it shut some people up. Mostly. This year, deck your float out any damn way you please and get in the spirit of the holiday of your choice.”
Residents welcomed the compromise.
“For a while it looked like there’d be no parade,” Chrissy Graysby said. “It’s wonderful it’s back on, whatever the theme, given all that’s happened this year. People need a pick-me-up, and a parade, no matter how small, will do just that.
“The name of the holiday doesn’t matter much to me,” Graysby said. “I just like to watch all the flashing lights and hear the music. And the kiddos love to see the floats go past, even if it only takes a minute or two.”
Organizers were unsure how large the parade would be.
“Right now, it’s slated to have three cars, but there may be more. Probably will be, depending on holiday drinking,” Kay Valve said. “There’s always last-minute additions, and people joining the parade after it starts. Usually yahoos on scooters, but last year Dermott Bottoms cut in with the construction haul truck. Didn’t even realize he was in a parade, he was that toasted.
“The Blacktip Haven float will be totally non-religious,” Valve said. “Elena Havens read ‘ecumenical’ as ‘ecological,’ and by the time she realized, it was too late for a re-do, so they’re doing a Save Our Mother Ocean float. There’s also rumors the pagans are doing a Mōdraniht float, but we’ll see if they show up so close to Solstice.”
Others were vocal in their support.
“The all-inclusive theme’s just what this island needs to pull folks together,” Rocky Shore said. “No one’s excluded. And there’s no war on Christmas, just on a-holes. We’re encouraging everybody to respond to whatever holiday greeting they get with, ‘thanks, you too.’ Xmas, Xmas Xmas! That’s right, I said it!”
The parade will be followed by other cross-denominational festivities, Ephesians said. “There’ll be beach Yule fires, plus food and drinks for everyone afterward,” he said. “We’ll have eight fires roaring between Club Scuba Doo and the Sand Spit bar as a kind-of implied menorah, to cover as many bases as possible. Guests are free to view the fires religiously or non-religiously, depending on their personal preference. Either way, we want folks to have a good time. And over-indulgers are welcome to crash in the resort’s hammocks.”