On Jan. 15, Baltimore will celebrate the life of an iconic civil rights leader with the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade.
MLK Parade Image-Dunbar High School Marching Band (Courtesy Photo)
More than 70 groups will participate in the annual celebration including high school and community bands, color and honor guards, equestrian groups, fraternities and sororities, dance troupes and civic organizations, such as the Baltimore Ethical Society, Baltimore Green Party, and Healthcare is a Human Right. The grand marshal of this year’s parade is “The Voice” finalist and Baltimore native Davon Fleming. The parade will be emceed by a personality from Radio One.
The parade was initially cancelled after Mayor Catherine Pugh initiated her inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. After receiving backlash from the community, she reversed her decision on Dec. 13, 2017, tweeting, “I’ve heard from residents who would like to continue the tradition of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade & those who’d like to participate in a Day of Service. Why choose – we can do both!”
According to the press release sent by Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service welcomes city residents to emulate Dr. King’s leadership and compassion for others by volunteering in their communities.
“We thought about what Martin Luther King, Jr. would want us to do on this particular day and that he was a man of service, he was a man of God, he wanted to share with other people,” Mayor Pugh said.
The parade will begin at noon at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Eutaw St. and ends around 2 p.m. at MLK Blvd. and Baltimore St. Spectators are invited to view the parade from along the route or near the reviewing stand at the intersection of MLK Blvd. and Franklin St.