Jacksonville Parade, Other Events Announced To Honor MLK Day

Jan 13, 2021

Jacksonville’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will be held Monday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m., while two annual MLK Day breakfasts on Friday, Jan. 15, are going virtual this year.

Despite Dr. King’s message of unity, there will be separate citywide breakfast events again this year to honor the slain civil rights leader. The annual breakfast was split into separate events in 2019 by city officials, the NAACP’s Jacksonville branch and the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) when they could not agree on hosting one event together.

34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast (City-sponsored version)

On Friday, January 15, the city's annual breakfast will be held at the Prime Osborn Convention Center at 8 a.m., with Florida Blue as the presenting sponsor.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s event will be streamed live on YouTube, with no in-person tickets being distributed.  

Panelists are scheduled to include Mayor Lenny Curry, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools and 2021 Florida Superintendent of the Year Diana Greene, UF Health CEO Leon Haley and United Way of Northeast Florida President and CEO Michelle Braun.

The event will be hosted and moderated by Joy Purdy from WJCT News partner News4Jax and Anthony Austin from First Coast News.

Free virtual tickets are available here along with additional information.

The Official 34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast (NAACP/SCLC-sponsored version)

Martin Luther King III, King’s son, will be the special guest at the 8 a.m. event on Friday, Jan. 15. Other speakers are scheduled to include the co-founders of Black Voters Matter, Cliff Albright and Latosha Brown.

The African American Ministiers Leadership Council, NAACP, SCLC and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown are the presenting sponsors.

The breakfast will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. A donation of $20 or more is suggested. More information is available on the NAACP’s Jacksonville website.

Downtown Jacksonville MLK Day Parade

The Downtown parade’s route will be identical to the 2020 Veteran’s Day Parade, according to the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, which is the presenting sponsor.

Participants will start on Water Street, parallel to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta branch. The parade will continue on to Laura, then Adams Street before concluding at the intersection of Lee and Bay streets.

The event will last approximately two hours, winding through the streets of Downtown Jacksonville for roughly 1.5 miles.

Floats, live performances from local marching bands, dance troupes, and decorated vehicles representing local businesses and organizations while also exhibiting a theme related to King’s message.

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise in Duval County and across the country, the Centers for Disease Control advise avoiding crowds and keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from people from outside your household.

Cummer Museum Offers Free Admission For MLK Day

The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens will be offering free admission and programming on Monday, Jan. 18, in honor of King’s legacy.

The museum is offering a mix of in-person and virtual programming:

In-Person

  • Mindful yoga session led by certified instructor, Alnisa Turner, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Cummer Gardens (before the museum opens). Bring your own mat.
  • Live music sets throughout the day from Akia Uwanda, a classically trained sultry jazz and soul vocalist.
  • Free Art Making kits. First come, first served. As supplies last.

Free Virtual Experiences:

  • A conversation with author and historian, Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.
  • An art making activity led by Danielle Garcia, Museum Educator.
  • A performance from the JAMS (Jacksonville Arts & Music School) chorus in a video produced by their student run production team.

Get time-specific tickets for in-person admission.

On WJCT Public Television: 'A Ripple Of Hope'

Credit PBS

Monday night, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. on WJCT's World TV channel 7.5, WJCT will present A Ripple of Hope. The special looks at the night of King's murder in 1968. A Ripple of Hope is also available on demand on WJCT's Passport. The Passport streaming service is a member benefit for supporters of WJCT.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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