Tulsa Mardi Gras Float Protests Turkey Mountain Mall

Tuesday, February 17th 2015, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

It's Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras ends at midnight, so there's probably not a better reason to host a party or stage a parade.

Laissez les bon temps rouler! That mean, of course, let the good times roll. That's what the folks in the Blue Dome District have planned.

Fat Tuesday is a good time for a party, and I've found - also a good opportunity to make a statement.

David James is building a float for the parade. He's also making a statement: Turkey Mountain is the wrong place for a mall.

Rick Wells: "Is it you and some friends, or is this just your own personal statement."
David James: "It's just my own personal statement."

He moved here over a year ago from California and was thrilled to find an area like Turkey Mountain so close to town. He and his daughter Sadie love to hike up there.

8/27/2014 Related Story: George Kaiser Family Foundation Pledges To Preserve Turkey Mountain

"It's quick access to great views. It's bald eagle habitat. There's great wildlife, great hiking and it's the number one mountain biking in the state," said David James.

All good reasons he says to put the mall someplace else.

Late last year Simon Property Group, the owners of Woodland Hills Mall, announced plans for a 48-acre development at Highway 75 and West 61st Street. It's adjacent to Turkey Mountain - a little too adjacent for David James.

"It would be an eyesore from a lot of the trails," he said.

His 6-year-old daughter is his hiking buddy. She has a hand written message for the outlet folks.

She wrote them a note at school: "Dear Simon Malls: I would not like it if you destroy turkey mountain, signed Sadie."

Dad's afraid it will jeopardize the wildlife, cause increased traffic and otherwise ruin the Turkey Mountain experience.

When he heard about the Mardi Gras parade, he started building the float, thinking what a great way to make his statement against the development.

In the spirit of Mardi Gras David has a costume. He'll be the guy in the bald eagle mask.

Though the parade begins at 7 p.m., the controversy over a mall on Turkey Mountain will no doubt go on and on and on.