Parade, concert to highlight MLK Day observances

Published On: Jan 18 2014 12:58:01 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 17 2014 09:18:29 PM EST

Jacksonville remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


A Martin Luther King Jr. holiday parade steps off downtown at 10 a.m. Monday, to be followed by a "Let Freedom Ring" gospel concert at Metropolitan Park.

The parade will begin at the intersection of Jefferson and Water streets, then continue east on Water Street/Independent Drive, passing the Jacksonville Landing and proceeding under the Main Street Bridge ramp, then make a left on Newnan Street and go one block north to Bay Street.

The procession will make a right turn on Bay -- passing the reviewing stand on the step of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office -- and proceed east to Gator Bowl Way, crossing A. Philip Randolph Boulevard, ending in Lot J of EverBank Field -- across the street from Metro Park.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown are expected to participate, along with dozens of school groups, churches and organizations.

Channel 4's Melanie Lawson and Tarik Minor will host live web coverage of the parade that can be seen on

Organizers of the parade posthumously named JSO Chief L. Jerome Spates as grand marshal.

"The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation Inc. counts itself among a legion of others who owe a great debt to the altruistic nature of one of Jacksonville's finest sons," the group wrote of Spates.

The  post-parade celebration at Metro Park begins at 1 p.m.  During the event, there will be tributes to Spates, as well as Dr. Chester Aikin, another longtime civic leader who died in the past year.

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