ARLINGTON, Texas (CBS11) – After days of controversy surrounding the planned Toyota North Texas Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Arlington, city officials have in essence cancelled the parade by denying permits to the organizers.
The news came as great satisfaction to NAACP leaders who opposed the plans because they believed Governor Gregg Abbott was undeserving of being named the parade’s honorary Grand Marshal.
Alisa Simmons, president of Arlington’s NAACP chapter said, “We were going to have a full fledged protest. Everybody where the same color… a full-fledged plan”
While NAACP leaders are touting their efforts as the reason why the parade was canceled, City of Arlington officials say that’s not why the parade was cancelled.
“This had absolutely nothing to do with the controversy or for that matter anything dealing with Governor Abbott..the reason is the permits were not fulfilled,” said Arlington spokesperson Jay Warren.
The event organizer, Winsor Barbee, admitted they had a shortfall of $60,000 but believed it was all being straightened out.
She said she was disappointed to hear of the decision and said, “If we cancel…look at what has been lost look at the opportunities that have been lost in North Texas. It’s sad that people decided that they did not feel as though it was worth something for the people.”
Barbee says she hopes to appeal the decision in time to have the parade on Monday, but many believe it is unlikely it will be reversed.
The organizers have five business days to appeal the decision, and the City of Arlington has up to five business days to respond.
But there’s not enough time.
That means Friday would be the last day for everything to be ironed out and approved before Monday.