AURORA, Ind. – The creator of a controversial float in southeastern Indiana says it was just a joke and admits it was a presidential “tossup.”
The float appeared Saturday during the Aurora Farmers Fair. It showed Hillary Clinton sitting in an electric chair with Donald Trump ready to pull the switch.
Frank Linkmeyer created the float, which was one of several that went down Second Street Saturday during the parade.
Linkmeyer said he and his brother have been “spoofing” things with their parade floats for years. He told WCPO that it wasn’t a political statement and described himself as a Democrat.
“Could have had Donald Trump in the electric chair. It was a tossup,” he said of the float.
But some who attended the parade weren’t amused, including an Aurora mom. She took issue with the float, which also featured an Easter Island head painted black with a sign identifying it as President Obama:
“Who thinks this is appropriate for a fair parade where children, some of them minorities and girls, are marching and playing instruments and watching? Who thinks this is something to laugh at or be proud of? This is disgusting. This makes me embarrassed to say I live here. This is Aurora, Indiana. Congratulations.”
Linkmeyer said he didn’t mean to offend anyone.
“It’s all in fun. Laughter is the best medicine in life and this country needs more laughter—and the people that are offended by it, I’m sorry. Don’t come to the parade next time.”
Aurora Mayor Donnie Hastings released a statement saying the city wasn’t involved in selecting float participants and adding that the float wasn’t “consistent with the values of our citizens.”
The Aurora Lions Club, which organizes the event, apologized in a statement, saying the parade is a public venue that doesn’t reflect its views.
“We hope the political circus of this year’s election stays with the national media,” the group said.
This isn’t the first float to spark controversy among Hoosiers. A man in Sheridan, Indiana drove a golf cart in the small town’s Independence Day parade, with an Obama statue sitting on a toilet alongside the words “Royal Flush.” There was also a sign that said “Lying African.”