The 40th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Grand Parade in Duval County was held this past Monday, January 18th, the day the nation and the world celebrates King’s Legacy. The parade celebration honors the legacy and memory of Dr. King for his civil rights activism and the role he played to integrate the Jim-Crow south. The parade is billed as a peace, freedom, and diversity parade, celebrating brotherhood, faith and culture. Local schools, childcare centers, boy/girl scout troops, high school clubs, small businesses, organizations and an array of other interesting parties and individuals participate in the annual event. parade. Slated to be the Grand Marshall was newly installed Judge Rhonda Peoples Waters, the first Black female elected to the bench in Duvals’ 4th Judicial Circuit. Unfortunately due to political concerns she had to step down replaced by the local Perkins Bar President who served in her place.
Thousands of residents lined the streets to get a view and glimpse of the parades procession of people in costume, marching bands, floats and city and state representatives. Founded on January 30, 1989, the parade is organized and led by The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation organization, the forerunner of the foundation, an ad hoc committee celebrated MLK Day in 1981, five years before MLK’s birthday became a national holiday.