No pardon for the jail float this year in Clayton Christmas parade

ajames@newsobserver.comDecember 4, 2013 

The Clayton Chamber of Commerce has decided to not allow DNA Bail Bonds float to be in the 2013 Clayton Christmas parade.


— The folks at DNA Bail Bonds say their float in the town’s Christmas parade last year was a hit.

It featured four preteen girls dressed in black-and-white-striped inmate costumes walking in front, waving and smiling in Santa hats while chained together by larger-than-life handcuffs and escorted by a fake police officer. The neon-green DNA Bail Bonds van pulled the float with more people in inmate costumes, one sitting on a pretend toilet in a cell, a roll of toilet paper trailing behind the float.

There will be no second act for the float in the town Christmas parade this year, says the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, the power behind the parade.

“I told them that we feel that is not in the Christmas spirit,” said chamber President Jim Godfrey.

Godfrey said the chamber asks that bands play Christmas music and that floats be decorated for Christmas. He said that the organization tried to work with DNA but that the discussion erupted into a heated argument.

“I tried to reach a compromise I thought was fair and allow them in the parade but asked them to not have people walking in front of the float wearing shackles and chains,” he said.

The chamber is not being fair, said Nick and Dawn Daniels, who own DNA Bail Bonds. Dawn Daniels said businesses, charities and libraries have borrowed the float’s jail cell to raise money for various causes, including the American Red Cross and Easter Seals.

“I think it’s ironic that if the community thinks our jail is so negative, then why do so many people want to borrow our jail?” she said.

This would have been DNA’s fourth year in the parade. In its first year, DNA won the prize for best float.

The chamber refunded DNA its $145 entry fee.

James: 919-553-7234

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