HAMPTON, NH (CBS) – The owner of a New Hampshire restaurant says he will try to organize his own parade after being kicked out of the parade he has participated in for three years.
“I love parades,” said Bill Niland, owner of the Chop Shop Pub. “Oh my God I was born for parades.”
Niland is upset his business has been banned from the upcoming Vintage Hampton Christmas Parade.
“I can’t believe we’re not allowed to be in their parade,” said Niland.
The restaurant and bar has been a part of the three previous parades but this year was told by parade organizers it’s not welcome. Experience Hampton, which runs the parade, says past issues with the bikers have put the thousands in the crowd at risk.
“One of which was a motorcyclist doing wheelies in the parade,” said John Nyhan, president of Experience Hampton. “And the other incident was individuals hanging off the back of the float while driving.”
The bar, whose float helps its Toys for Tots campaign, believes this has nothing to do with safety but is being driven by anti-biker sentiment in the community.
“You can’t draw any other conclusion than it’s biased in one way or another and/or discriminatory,” said Niland.
But parade organizers say the decision is about the well-being of the spectators.
“It has nothing to do with them being a biker shop,” said Nyhan. “It comes back to safety and liability, it has nothing to do with discrimination.”
The Chop Shop, which is located in nearby Seabrook, says it is now organizing its own parade in that town.
Town officials in Seabrook tell WBZ-TV they will look at a proposal for next year.
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