Organizers of a central Alberta rodeo and its parade committee are calling for calm after a float in this weekend’s parade, which possessed a racist theme, was seen in the procession.
The float in the parade, held in the town of Sundre on Saturday morning, consisted of a tractor pulling an individual in a fake beard dressed in a turban and a suit. On the side of the trailer was the message, “The Liberal.”
Both the Sundre Pro Rodeo and the parade committee said they did not approve the entry. The committee went on to suggest that it broke the rules.
“The entry was not approved and, upon further investigation, joined the parade without passing through any registration,” the committee wrote in a statement that was posted on the Sundre Pro Rodeo’s Facebook page.
Despite how the float got there, it has already drawn harsh criticism from community members.
‘DISPLAY OF RACISM’
The Dash Mesh Cultural Centre, a centre of the Sikh community in Calgary, said it was “extremely disappointed and saddened” by the “display of racism.”
“We need to have serious conversations and actions to stop these forms of racism. We welcome (Sundre pro rodeo organizers) and their parade committee to visit DCC and learn about Sikhs,” it wrote on Twitter.
“We hope dialogue will help end these senseless displays of ignorance towards minorities.”
Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal also called out the float as “shameful” while Jasraj Singh Hallan, the representative for Calgary Forest Lawn, shared similar sentiments.
Meanwhile, rodeo organizers and the parade committee have further apologized about the situation and pledged to ensure nothing like this happens any more.
“We do send our deepest apologies and something like that will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN,” the rodeo said.
The town of Sundre is located approximately 92 kilometres northwest of Calgary.