FAITH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – There is controversy over several entrants in the Faith Fourth of July Festival Parade. A man who attended the parade said there were three different Confederate reenactor groups marching in the streets.
For decades, the Faith Fourth of July festival has been the place for fun and this year was no different.
“It’s a relief for my kids a break from summer school,” a woman who attended the festival said.
There were plenty of American flags in the parade, but it’s a different flag that got the attention on Twitter.
“There have been neo-Confederate groups here for as long as I have been coming, they have grown a little bit in size but over time they have become a little bit more of a forceful presence in the parade,” Dr. Gary Freeze said, a retired history professor from Catawba College.
An editor at the Salisbury Post posted four photos of the parade on Twitter.
His tweet was re-posted by a political science professor at Catawba College, Dr. Michael Bitzer who added the caption, “A ‘Which One of These Photos Has Something that Doesn’t Belong in Celebrating The United States of America’ Contest.”
Dr. Freeze, a local historian who attended yesterday’s parade, said he sees both sides of the debate.
“I of course would not advocate for Confederates being central to this parade, but certainly any kind of presentation that’s part of our nation to me has elements that’s part of the Fourth of July,” Dr. Freeze said.
A man who volunteered at the parade says he supports Confederate reenactors as part of the parade.
“It’s part of the South, there should be no hate, it should all be freedom, freedom of speech and what you feel,” Paul White said.
A town alderman said he thinks there’s a future in the parade for this part of history.
“I wouldn’t want to change it. It’s history, we gotta remember history, we learn from it,” Brian Campbell said.
One of the event organizers tells FOX 46 the parade is open to other groups like Black Lives Matter and Pride.
FOX 46 asked the organizer if they’ll continue having confederate reenactors in future parades.
“That will be discussed at our next meeting I’m sure,” organizer Randall Barger responded. “We usually don’t meet again until October. That gives the treasure time to take care of all financials so he can give us a report. Time to rest some now.”