TULSA, Okla. - Some of the people who banded together to put on a Christmas parade in 2011 have had a falling out, and that has already led to some confusion about what will happen with this year's parade.
The parade began because many were unhappy that the annual parade downtown no longer had the word "Christmas" in its title.
Last week, members of the board of Tulsa Christmas Parade, LLC issued a statement warning people to beware of an "imposter." (See full text of that statement below)
The man, unnamed in the statement, is David Arnett, a journalist and blogger known for his involvement in local politics.
Arnett spoke with KRMG and was dismissive of the group's statement.
They "issued some kind of silly press release that was not accurate, was disingenous, and really very amateurish if not blatantly slanderous."
That said, Arnett denied reports in other Tulsa media which claimed he was preparing legal action.
"We do not plan to file any legal action whatsoever," he said.
Arnett added that he has filed for a parade permit, and said the parade will take place on Sunday, December 2.
McFarland said his group has identified a couple of possible dates for a parade, but they aren't ready to announce the date yet.
He claims that his group alone has the right to use the name "Tulsa Christmas Parade."
"Our legal counsel has advised us that we have grounds to continue using that, and to continue to promote the Tulsa Christmas Parade, and if somebody tries to do the same thing we've got legal grounds to say 'you can't do that.'"
"They believe that because they've spent 70 bucks on an LLC that they own Tulsa Christmas Parade. That is inaccurate," he told KRMG.
McFarland regrets the confusion likely to ensue from the competing parades.
"People need to know what they're giving to, and if they're going to give to a cause, they need to know that it's going to that cause."
Both sides indicated reconciliation is an unlikely scenario, and despite their intentions, the issue may end ultimately end up in court.
This is the statement issued last week by Josh McFarland:
Josh Mcfarland, founder and one of the organizers of the Tulsa Christmas Parade, is warning Tulsa businesses to beware of a former volunteer claiming to be organizing the parade this year.
“It is sad that someone who worked with us last year has decided to go on his own, claiming to represent the Christmas Parade, which he has no legal authority to do so,” said McFarland.
“We’ve even had reports that this person has already solicited and in one case collected money from a business” continued McFarland. “And we need to let the Tulsa business community know who exactly is running the Tulsa Christmas Parade.”
McFarland explained that members of the Tulsa Christmas Parade board are seeking a legal remedy to stop the actions of the former volunteer.
“However, we felt the need to let the public know before anyone else gives money to this person instead of to the Christmas Parade,” said McFarland. McFarland encourages any businesses who have been contacted by someone saying they are from the Tulsa Christmas Parade to contact him at 918-706-6787 immediately.
The Tulsa Christmas Parade is made up of a three person board that wanted to give Tulsan's the option of attending a Christmas Parade after the dismantling of the name "Christmas" in the former downtown parade. Last year 100% of the remaining proceeds were gifted to the Love Heals Veteran"s Recovery Center, a shelter for substance abusive veterans. Josh McFarland, Mark Croucher, and Eddie Huff are the members of the The Tulsa Christmas Parade board.