I marched in the holiday parade last year with the Only One Earth Coalition and a small group of Asheville Third Act NC members. It was great fun! The coalition was a very colorful entrant; the Brass Your Heart band was excellent; and people in attendance loved us! This year, the coalition’s application was rejected, and local Third Act NC members were looking forward to marching in the parade.
Third Act is an organization of experienced Americans over the age of 60 founded by Bill McKibben. Third Act NC members work to protect our planet and society to change the world for the better. Together, we use our life experience, skills and resources to build a better tomorrow.
I sent an email to the Asheville Downtown Association organizers, including information about Third Act NC, in hopes that they would reconsider having Only One Earth Coalition in the holiday parade. Nineteen of us sent an email to the parade organizers to express our desire to march in the parade again, but our application was rejected apparently because we are considered political. I can honestly say that every Asheville organization in the Only One Earth Coalition works to help the planet and/or our society.
I have lived in Asheville for 41 years, and many local people, including myself, as well as people who visit Asheville, love and appreciate Asheville’s eclectic culture. Explore Asheville recently said, “This thriving mountain city features a funky and eclectic downtown.” Friends of mine often use the phrase, “It’s so Asheville,” which is what the Only One Earth parade entry was last year. Recently, I am seeing our city’s eclectic nature being rejected, as in this situation, and Asheville succumbing to corporate entities!
— Cheryl T. Orengo
Third Act NC