For second year, Orlando celebrates MLK with showcase instead of parade

Performers took to the stage in front of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A resurgence in COVID cases prompted organizers of the City of Orlando’s MLK parade to hold a showcase event instead of the traditional parade for a second year in a row.

Alexis Lewis, with the Southwest Orlando Jaycees, said they were holding out hope the parade could happen this year.

[TRENDING: Expect more worrisome variants after omicron, scientists say | Substance abuse counselor claims Brevard deputies wrongly arrested him for DUI | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“We were very hopeful for a parade this year and as you can see everybody was wishing we could have that interaction,” Lewis said.

Even if the parade didn’t happen, the longstanding tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King is still going strong.

The City of Orlando partnered with the Southwest Orlando Jaycees and the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center to host the MLK showcase.

Organizers said this is the second year of the performance instead of the parade that marches down Orange Avenue.

“Due to COVID unfortunately our mayors, our commissioners from the city and county both decided that we’re going to err on the side of safety,” Lewis said.

Acts that normally show off their talents in the parade took to the stage.

People attending the event said even if we’re celebrating differently this year, it’s still important to honor Dr. King and remember his message.

“I think togetherness shows that we still have that same mind frame as Dr. Martin Luther King: to fight for what is right, to build each other up, not to tear one another down, so we celebrate that,” attendee Vicki Devine said.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!