Tea Party and State of Jefferson handouts part of our July 4 parade culture

I don’t see this in Truckee, but the July 4 parade on our county’s western end is never complete without Tea Party Patriot and State of Jefferson political activists passing out their propaganda to the families that line the streets.

And this year’s parade in downtown Grass Valley was no exception.

Having said that, I enjoy the school marching bands, Grand Marshals, and imaginative parade floats from nonpartisan nonprofits.

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Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

15 thoughts on “Tea Party and State of Jefferson handouts part of our July 4 parade culture”

  1. In fairness Jeff there lots of groups handing out stuff. Atria retirement home was handing out candy, Empire Mine was handing out wooden nickles, etc. Lots of groups and business use the 4th to promote their cause and celebrate our countries birth, which I for one don’t mind. The group promoting Dr. Ben Carson for president was in the parade also. During the Father Day’s bike races they gave out free bottled water, we sure could have used it today. I enjoyed the school marching bands also. I especially enjoyed the Union Hill band, all 5 members. Enjoy your family’s BBQ and fireworks tonight!

  2. Candy and wooden nickels are fun! The theme of Truckee’s parade was “Live-Work-Play Truckee!” celebrating everyone in that community that enjoys life in the mountains. The Lincoln parade featured World War II ace “Bud” Anderson. Ours have more of a political edge — and it’s noticeable.

  3. Really Gary? You see all your examples as being on the same level and equivalent in intent and purpose? Surely you don’t . You’re more intelligent then that.

  4. Bruce:
    I see it as free speech, what America is founded on. How appropriate on the 4th. No they are not on the same level and equivalent in intent and purpose. Is Atria Retirement Home and Union Hill Marching Band on the same level and equivalent in intent and purpose? Thanks for complement on my intelligence.

  5. Gary,
    Sure it’s free speech. But I wonder how it reflects on our community when people come to visit for some family friendly entertainment. I just do not see as much of this in other places that our community looks up to when it comes to economic development. The unintended consequences are being perceived as Dollar General territory. “You reap what you sow.”

  6. Aren’t the Tea Party and the Jefferson people pretty much one and the same, a very small group of very loud people? The issue here is free speech. However, I wonder if that speech would extend to the KKK or the Communist party handing out “propaganda” during the parade? There is either a line no one crosses or no line at all. The grass roots organization of the right wing is the only thing that keeps the Republican party alive. If people would cast aside the rhetoric and look at what the Republican party actually does for the American people in general, and they would never win an election anywhere again. Given that the today’s Democratic party is somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon, American’s are left with the choice of Tweedle dee and tweedle dumb.

    1. Joe:
      There is not a line drawn for which group is acceptable or what is not appropriate according to the application to march in the parade.
      http://historicgrassvalley.com/4th-of-july-parade/
      Being put on by the Downtown Association and using public roads how much can they say, no your group in not acceptable? I am not a TEA Party or Jefferson supporter, so I really don’t have a axe to grind here. I wonder how our local LGBT group, Nevada County Pride would be accepted if they choose to participate? How about the Democratic Party? The E Clampus Vitus float with the guy sitting on the toilet, in the outhouse kind of makes everything acceptable at that point. Your point of this parade having a political edge to it Jeff is well taken, as I have not seen other 4th parades but here.

  7. Sure, the free speech argument is often used. But the economic argument is that it’s hard to get people to peel off to our smaller, lesser-known communities (for a visit or a job) from the well-worn, affluent and progressive S.F. area to Lake Tahoe I-80 corridor when the State of Jefferson and Tea People are so visible throughout town. Same goes for businesses. Do Cisco and HP, or a college or arts school, want to open offices in the State of Jefferson? It’s an unintended consequence that makes us more of a Dollar General turf. And it’s much less the case in some of our neighboring towns. This should be “food for thought” for local leaders, but I don’t think it’s even on their radar. Others could care less, because it’s another generation’s problem.

  8. We once lived in Ashland, Oregon. Their Fourth of July parade is considered one of the best in the United States. There’s always a clever theme and organizations respond with imaginative floats. The parade yesterday didn’t even qualify as quaint. Our four families were disgusted with the TP and the SOP. Nor were we impressed with the fleet of corvettes.

    Our view is that the parade should not allow politically oriented entrants. We would like to see organizations with creative floats that clearly match the theme of the parade. The only gasoline powered vehicles allowed would be ones used to pull floats.

    We live in a beautiful area with wonderful creative people. The Fourth of July parade should be a reflection of that beauty and creativity.

  9. Jerry,
    I notice you brought up a parade theme in Ashland. Truckee does this too. In both cases, this helps minimize the overt politicking. For example, Ashland’s rules read:
    “THE ASHLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THAT THE APPEARANCE, CONTENT AND MESSAGE OF YOUR ENTRY ADDRESS THE THEME OF THE PARADE WHICH IS: …” This year Ashland’s theme was “Be Active, Live Healthy.” Truckee’s theme, as stated above, was “Live, work play Truckee.”

    In addition, the Ashland Chamber also states: “In 2014, the Ashland Chamber 4th of July Committee asked that parade participants refrain from handling out fliers, leaflets, coupons, brochures from along the parade route and encouraged entries to think of creative, exciting ways to engage the audience along the parade route.”

    It spells out other rules too: http://www.ashlandchamber.com/files/ParadeRules.pdf

    Our community sometimes admires Ashland for its accomplishments, including economic ones. There is a way to go about this without always confronting the “first amendment” argument. In short, the process needs to be a little more sophisticated to avoid “unintended consequences.” In this case, kudos to Ashland!

  10. I like the way Ashland has handled it (see above). It is fair to all, and helps keep politics from “hijacking” the parade. I also like Ashland’s economy.

  11. In all honesty, I think this years parade was just plain lousy. Other than the one yearly highlight (Opher Prison Band) the parade was oh so ho hum. Two times the crowd (by me on w.main anyway ) went from cheering to dead silent is when the Clampers and State of Jefferson yahoos went by. I don’t know who organizes the parade, but what a disappointment. No wonder why many of my local chums quit going years ago

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