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Instead of a parade, Orlando celebrates MLK with holiday showcase

10 acts performed at DPAC’s Front Yard Festival

ORLANDO, Fla. – The COVID-19 pandemic is cancelling or postponing several events, but one longstanding tradition in Orlando is still going strong.

The City of Orlando’s MLK Parade usually marches down Orange Avenue, but the city made changes to the event this year.

Jae Lyon said she attends the event every year.

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“It’s all about supporting the cause and with the world turned upside down we need to come together for the cause,” Lyon said.

Instead of the traditional parade, the city held a performance at the Dr. Phillip’s Center Front Yard Festival.

Lorri Shaban with DPAC said 10 acts that normally participate in the parade showed off their talents on the stage.

“This year because we couldn’t’ do the parade we got together with the City of Orlando and we reimagined it,” Shaban said.

Attendees watched the show from socially distanced pods spaced out on the lawn. Everyone was required to wear masks.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said even though we’re celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. differently this year, it is still important to honor his life and legacy.

“I think it’s more important today than it’s ever been that we think about the lessons that Dr. King taught us about being able to peacefully unite ourselves, so that’s something that we need to think about as we go forward,” Dyer said.

Lyon adds we all need to come together to remember Dr. King’s message.

“He fought for everybody. It’s not just a black, white thing. It’s for everybody. It’s all about freedom and freedom of speech and we’re here to support all that,” Lyon said.


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