Bright smiles, cheers at Martin Luther King Jr. Parade


GIFFORD — Chilly weather didn’t stop the community from turning out for the annual Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, showcasing local organizations, law enforcement and local school bands Monday. A program was held afterwards at Victor Hart Sr. Community Enhancement Complex that honored King’s life, legacy and ultimate sacrifice to the Civil Rights Movement.

The parade – held from 9 a.m. to about 10 a.m. – was part of the schedule of events with the overall theme “Building a Better Community.”

Spectators standing on the sidewalk and sitting in chairs cheered on as the parade members marched down westbound 45th Street and then headed north on 43rd Avenue. The loud beating of drums and harmonious sounds from horns and trumpets could be heard for miles as Sebastian High School’s Marching Sharks and Vero Beach High School’s Fighting Indians bands marched along the streets.

Several organizations – including Gifford Youth Achievement Center – held up MLK banners and signs that had some of King’s most memorable quotes. One sign had a King quote that read “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

At the Victor Hart Sr. complex, participants sang the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and listened to tributes to King, including words of inspiration from local pastors.

Photos by Kaila Jones

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