Jacksonville’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade continues 4-decade tradition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of people lined the streets of downtown Jacksonville on Monday for the 40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade.

“Dr. King and his ideas and his dream, we want that to live on,” said Russell Earl of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation Inc., which organizes the parade to honor the Civil Rights leader’s life and message of equality, opportunity and service to others.

Music echoed between buildings as bands, ROTC units and performers marched by as decorated cars, floats and motorcycles made their way along the 1.5-mile route from Water Street near the Prime Osborn Convention Center to Laura and Adams streets past the Duval County Courthouse before concluding near the intersection of Lee and Bay streets.

The parade is an annual tradition for Markesha Fuller and her daughter, Ricki.

“We’re from Georgia. A lot of times we visit the center there in Atlanta but this year we wanted to stay here to see the parade,” Markesha Fuller said. “It’s one of those things that I wouldn’t want to miss. It’s very important to my family, our legacy, our community, our culture.”

UNCUT: Watch the entire 2021 MLK Parade

“It just sets the blueprint for the future and it just inspires me to push harder as an individual to be the best that I can be,” Nikko Joseph said.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, participants and spectators were asked to conform to local safety regulations.

The parade is sponsored by The Law Offices of Ron Sholes.

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