INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – For more than an hour, parade participants marched through the county, starting in Vero Beach and ending at the Gifford Neighborhood Park, remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.
“A dream come true,” said Vero Beach resident Angela Reed, who, at 41, has hope that her dreams can come true. “There is a God, and that gives me hope,” Reed said after the parade. “Dr. King is one of my heroes. I give honor to him and everyone who opened all the doors for me. I love this day. I love my heritage. I love all people.”
Reed continued – likening Dr. King’s day to Christmas – only instead of being Santa who brings presents – Dr. King was a Santa who brought love.
“He brought America together” regardless of race, religion, age or creed, she added.
Several thousand people lined the parade route, waving to the floats and participants, many of which included the county’s various schools, businesses and churches.
“It means something special,” said participant Daija Chance, a fourth grader at Imagine Schools of South Vero, of being able to come together and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
She said it is important to remember his teachings and his call to respect one another.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and members of Indian River County Fire Rescue, with the Honor Guard, led of the parade, which started near 37th Avenue and US 1.
Behind them was Grand Marshall Mary B. McKinney, radio personality Rhett Palmer, School Board members Matt McCain and Jeff Pegler, and various organizations, clubs and schools.
Many floats included quick facts about Dr. King and slogans that fell into line with his teachings.
“It takes teamwork to make the dream work,” “By joining hands we can make dreams come true,” and “Living the dream” were among the signs displayed.
After the parade, the community gathered at Gifford Neighborhood Park to enjoy barbecue, sweet treats, games and live entertainment.