Despite the “unFlorida-like” temperatures, an enthusiastic group of people gathered to participate in and watch the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade on Monday, January 17, held in the city of Brooksville.
Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was actually born on January 15, 1929, but we have celebrated his birthday on the third Monday of January ever since 1986. That day is designated as a federal holiday. Parades and other activities take place all over the country.
The participants in this year’s parade included Brooksville mayor, Pat Brayton and councilman, “Butch” Battista; Hernando County School Superintendent, John Stratton, and several school board members; a number of political candidates, and members of the local Democratic party. Also riding in the parade were Josandra Maner, Assistant Principal of Nature Coast High School, and Leechele Booker, Principal of Hernando High School.
The marching bands of Weeki Wachee and Hernando High School provided rousing music. Eager spectators rushed to get candy and colorful beads thrown by the people in the parade.
Mayor Brayton commented, “The city of Brooksville has always participated in the Martin Luther King Day parade. The city, in general, is happy to promote this type of event.”
School Board member Kay Hatch remarked, “This celebration is especially necessary today. Dr. King’s message was one of non-violence, challenging each of us to be our best selves. He reminds us that only light can drive out darkness and that only love can drive out hate. And so we are right to pause, to celebrate, and to be challenged.”