Hot Springs Mayor Ruth Carney has been griping about the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a huge tourism boost to her city, for at least five years. (See her sniper joke in 2011.)
This year, the mayor invoked Adolf Hitler in questioning the attendance figures cited for the parade in an article in an American Airlines magazine. (You’d think a mayor would be happy about international attention to a small city’s tourism event.) She’s removed the comment from her Facebook page, but KATV preserved it in an article about her comment. She told KATV she’d probably say the same again. UPDATE: A historian notes that Carney misattributes the “big lie” quote to Hitler, when it is attributed to his propagandist, Joseph Goebbels.)
The airline magazine article said 30,000 attended. Carney doesn’t buy it. She claims the Tea Party has counted and the number is much smaller. (The Tea Party doesn’t like the event because it’s a successful gimmick dreamed up by the Hot Springs convention and visitors impresario, Steve Arrison. The Tea Party HATES the hotel/restaurant tax that supports convention and visitor activities.) Arrison was quoted by KATV:
Hot Springs Visitors and Conventions Bureau CEO, Steve Arrison told Channel 7 News he doesn’t know what the mayor is “obsessed with their little parade.”
“If it will make the mayor happy, we will announce the attendance at 15,000 next year. The number really doesn’t matter. We hope everybody has a good time. If she doesn’t like 15,000, hey, we can drop it to 5,000. The attendance number has nothing to do with it,” Arrison said. “It’s a free parade. We are not deceiving anybody. I wish she paid this much attention to running the city of Hot Springs as she does to our little parade.”
In the spirit of fun of the parade, somebody has done one of those Hitler movie sendups, with Hitler playing Carney and her obsession with the event. Watch it here. The fun is tonight, by the way, beginning with a Blarney Stone kissing contest at 4:30 p.m. The parade itself is at 6:30, but fun continues after. Kevin and Michael Bacon and Gary Busey are the celebrity headliners.
The Facebook page devoted to recalling Mayor Carney is having lots of fun with the latest.