Mayor Amy Goodwin didn’t see her decision to rename the parade as a war on anything. She thought the move would signal that this capital city situated along the Kanawha River was a place for people of all faiths and cultures. It was the same impulse that drove her when she first took office at the start of the year to invite Christian preachers, a rabbi, an imam along with people of other faiths to say prayers before City Council meetings. Renaming the parade was an extension of that open-door spirit, she believed.

“I wanted to show that Charleston is a welcoming and inclusive city,” she said.

That is not how many Charleston residents saw it.

“The new mayor needs to be voted out if she does away with the Christmas parade,” read one comment on the initial Facebook post. “Christmas is all about Christ, not some winter parade.”