NJ adult party and sex product biz owner protests parade removal
BELMAR — A three-year-old rule violation cited by borough officials is the reason why the owner of a local business that hosts sex-themed parties is banned from marching in this year's St. Patrick's Day parade, according to an online petition the owner started to get her business reinstated.
Holly Corbella, a self-described female entrepreneur, alleges in the Change.org petition that it is women like her who are being discriminated against by the decision not to let her company, Parties by Bellas, participate in the Belmar Lake Como St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, March 6.
According to its website, Parties by Bellas is "more than an in-home adult party business," in which participants get the opportunity to "share products that will enhance everyone's life and relationship."
Corbella wrote that her group marched in the parade in 2018 and 2019, seemingly without incident. The Asbury Park Press reported that she skipped 2020 due to a scheduling conflict, and after the 2021 event was canceled due to COVID-19, only found out that the parade committee took issue with her involvement when she went to apply for a spot in 2022.
"In the parade that occurred on March 3, 2019, Holly's Parties by Bellas violated two of the parade committee's rules," read a recent email that Corbella reproduced in the petition. The email went on to specify stipulations against "any individual or group deemed offensive or in bad taste," and distributing candy, gum, leaflets, or other promotional materials.
However, Corbella told the Asbury Park Press that Parties by Bellas did not hand anything out at the 2019 parade, though she and her colleagues did do so in 2018. She said other parade participants regularly distribute things to the gathering crowds.
Corbella was not planning to give away any materials this year because of COVID.
She blames the "older, male-dominated" committee for the decision, and said her business interests are focused on female empowerment, not just sex.
"A conversation immediately after the parade should have happened so I could have been aware of our mistake and make the proper changes for the future," Corbella wrote in the petition. "If we knew ahead of time we would have (sic) abided by any and all rules."