December 07, 2016
Some South Jersey residents took to Facebook to share feelings of frustration and fear over the announcement that Kellyanne Conway, President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager and a South Jersey native, will serve as the grand marshal of Hammonton’s annual Christmas parade.
Conway, a native of Atco, Camden County, graduated from St. Joseph High School in Hammonton in 1985 and made history on Nov. 8 by becoming the first woman in U.S. history to lead a victorious presidential campaign.
But not all Hammontonians see it that way. Some South Jersey residents took to Facebook to share their dismay over the announcement in private Hammonton Facebook groups, while others shared fears that Conway's presence may pose a safety risk.
A "Not My Hometown Hero" Facebook event was also created on Tuesday and set for the same date and time of the parade. The event description asks spectators to “make sure she knows that no matter what #LoveWillAlwaysTrumpHate.” The event has since been taken down.
The Facebook event description had asked paradegoers to “Wear your finest festive gear. Bring positive signs that carry a message of unity, hope, and love (PLEASE no negativity--no anger, no aggression--although the town of Hammonton seems to forget it by politicizing it, this is a family event). Lights, rainbows, love, and glitter is STRONGLY encouraged.
Let's show the world that we are happy, excited, and motivated to bring goodwill and cheer to ALL women and men."
The event creator later added to the post that its purpose is to be “a beacon of goodwill and light and is NOT about inciting anything violent or hateful at the parade.
“This is a family event, it's a good opportunity for families to come together, and even more, it's the perfect place to show that Hammonton is welcoming and supportive of ALL people, regardless of their orientation, race, gender, or creed. That is why I love my hometown and why I'm so proud of all the incredible things taking place there."
Not all invitees were so optimistic.
The parade is set for Saturday from 7-10 p.m.