For years now, it has been a tradition in Baltimore for the annual MLK Jr Parade. Effective 2018, Mayor Pugh has pulled the plug on the parade that stretched across downtown Baltimore.
Mayor Pugh has announced that she is replacing the parade with a ‘Day of Service’. Mayor Pugh thought that the parade was ‘short’ and didn’t do any justice to Dr. King’s legacy.
“We are doing a day of service and a battle of the bands. We’re looking for the drummer for justice. Instead of marching down MLK Boulevard, most cities are doing a day of service. This is an expression of what Martin Luther King would have wanted to see. You’ll have poetry, signing and the battle of the bands. It gives us a chance to launch an essay contest as well. Everybody who wants to participate in the day of service will have the opportunity to give back.”
The announcement was made on Pugh’s website.
“To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 15, 2018, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh will host the inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. This year, the City of Baltimore welcomes residents to emulate Dr. King’s leadership and compassion for others by volunteering in their communities. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a public servant who devoted his life to the advancement of civil rights and equality. Building on this momentum, Baltimore begins a new tradition to honor this commitment and to encourage community-based organizations to organize and submit service projects that welcome volunteers of all-ages.”
Since the announcement, there have been a petition signed by 300 people to get parade restored.