The Fourth of July celebrations are over, but it looks like a controversy regarding the Las Cruces Electric Light Parade will continue for some time. At the July third parade, The Las Cruces TEA Party float won best in show, along with a one thousand dollar prize. The float included a confederate flag and that prompted outage among some. On the website grassrootspress.com, a post attributed to Marsha Garcia of the group Progress Now New Mexico states: “We need you to tell the Mayor and City Council and El Paso Electric to take back that award and take a stand against hate and division. Take action now to send the Mayor and Council your message. Tell them that the Confederate Flag is not New Mexico’s most patriotic symbol, and encourage them to do something better with their $1,000 prize!”
In a Saturday e-mail, Las Cruces Mayor KEN MIYAGISHIMA wrote:
“The Las Cruces Tea Party can believe whatever it wants, but to have this symbol and what it represents, highlight the winning float at a celebration of our nation's independence is an outrage. I deeply apologize to the people of Las Cruces as well as our friends throughout the State of New Mexico for the pain that this has caused.”
He went on to say, “I can assure you that we will thoroughly review the rules and procedures for next year's parade to make sure that this never happens again!” In a Facebook post by the Mayor, that exclamation point was removed and another sentence was added: “Please be assured that the freedom of
speech will not be infringed upon when these charges are made.”
KRWG will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest on air and online.