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Participants wanted for MLK parade

Residents in and around Picayune will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 18 with a car parade and speakers, free food and performances at Snyder Park.

The free event will be livestreamed to ensure at risk people can also attend virtually. Organizers are still looking for companies to participate and sponsors for T-shirts, free masks and hand sanitizers. Donations are also being accepted, said Director of the MLK Committee of Picayune Vinner Scott.

Organizers have altered the annual event in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Instead of a march from Pleasant Valley Baptist Church to Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ, the event will be a car parade beginning at Leola Jordan Park on East Canal and ending at Snyder Park.

Line up for the parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Leola Jordan Park and the event will start immediately after the parade.

The route will come down East Canal to Main Street, turn right on Main, right onto Rosa Street and then head down Beech Street to Snyder Park. Participants are encouraged to decorate their cars to commemorate Dr. King.

Instead of having speeches and music inside Rose of Sharon Church of God as in previous years, speeches and performances will be conducted outside at Snyder Park. Attendees will be able to stay in their cars and enjoy the program from inside their vehicles. People who want to walk in will be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Face masks will be handed out at the park’s entrance for people who do not have one.

“We’re getting a lot of participation from people in the community that want to still do it. I’m not looking for elderly people to come out. I’m suggesting if they do come out that they come in their cars so they will be safe in their cars,” said Scott.

Food will still be served. Plates will be prepared so that attendees can request the number of plates they want for the people in their car.

“I celebrate a lot of Dr. King celebrations, but this year with everything that’s now taking place and going on within the country, I think this will be one of the most important events that we’ve ever had for Dr. King to show that we as a city, we as a nation, as a country, that we can come together to celebrate peace, because Dr. King was definitely about peace and unity,” Scott said.

The event will be live streamed on Facebook on the MLK Picayune Facebook page. Celena Thomas will also conduct a live podcast from the event that can be found on her Facebook page. Diamond Productions will also be recording the event. Scott said organizers are looking at additional ways to allow people to engage with the event virtually, so people who cannot physically attend will still be a part of the celebration.

For more information, contact Scott at mlkpicayune@gmail.com or 504-513-9239.