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Flap Over Float

December 2, 2013, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Flap Over Float

Some people aren't happy about who replaced rock star Joan Jett on South Dakota's float during the Thanksgiving Day Macy's Parade.

Jett was originally scheduled to ride on it, but was removed after a backlash from ranchers because she's a vegan and supports the group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Yet the band which replaced her is drawing its own criticism.

The pop band, The Summer Set, from Arizona stepped in at the last minute to ride South Dakota's float, an appearance that was kept secret until Thursday morning's parade.

"Josh and I are both vegetarians and we have been for awhile," band member Brian Dales said.

Two of the group members are featured on a PETA website because they're outspoken vegetarians.

"I think it was the perfect fit to get involved with PETA and what they support," Dales said.

The selection of the boy band isn't sitting well with some.  We caught up with a couple of people at the Renner Corner Locker, where they cut and process meat daily.

"We're in the meat industry here in the Midwest.  I don't think they represented us well," Jon Siemonsma said.

"I thought the parade itself was good, um, I was definitely disappointed they boycotted Joan Jett ad brought in another band that had two people who were vegetarians as well," Laura May said.

Both say people have a right to choose their own diets, but choosing The Summer Set to be on South Dakota's float wasn't the right choice.

"I think South Dakota, we're in the cattle business around here, all the Midwest for that matter.  You could see from all the support the people out west had with losing thousands of cattle," Siemonsma said.

"I don't think it was a good representation of South Dakota," May said.

South Dakota's Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen told KELOLAND News in a statement: "The talent on our float was an unknown act that was selected very late in the process.  I am really happy with the great exposure South Dakota received in the parade."

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