A float in the Independent Parade in Lafayette and all the negative sattention it is getting has the Chic-A-La-Pie Krewe in Kaplan rethinking its float entry rules.
On Tuesday, a float displayed a cardboard cutout of the Independent newspaper publisher Cherry Fisher May with a steering wheel, beer can and sign that read: “Caution!!! Float Driven By Cherry Fisher May.” A large banner along the float’s side displayed text about May’s DUI arrest in 2010 with her mug shot of the arrest.
The negative wording on the float led to a fight between Dr. Glen R. Stewart, a Lafayette physician and a real estate developer, and Erin May Fitzgerald, daughter of Steve May publisher of the Independent and step-daughter of co-publisher Cherry Fisher. Dr. Stewart was riding on the float before the fight.
Fitzgerald attempted to remove a banner from Stewart’s float and was knocked out allegedly by Stewart. The doctor was arrested by the Lafayette Police and charged with one count of felony second-degree battery.
Stewart also stood above a KO’d Fitzgerald and allegedly took a photo of her unconscious. That also could cost him his medical license.
Chic-A-La-Pie President Linda Vincent said Stewert’s float would not have been allowed to roll in Kaplan.
“We would not have allowed it,” Vincent said Thursday. “We have a rule that does not allow vulgarity on floats. While that float did not have any vulgarity, it was in poor taste. Our parade is family oriented. His float is a personal attack between two people.”
Vincent, who was in charge of checking in the floats, said she sees all the floats as she checks them in and would have red flagged Stewart’s float.
She did say Chic-A-La-Pie does not have actual rules written on paper that stop anyone from entering a float like Stewart’s. But in two weeks she will bring the issue up at Chic-A-La-Pie’s next board meeting to have something in place for next year.