Central Florida celebrates MLK this weekend

Where to celebrate MLK day

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  • | 9:18 a.m. January 15, 2014
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Winter Park, Orlando and Eatonville residents won’t have to look far this upcoming week to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy for human equality.

Winter Park will be celebrating its 12th annual Unity Heritage Festival in a two-day celebration on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 19 and 20 at Shady Park.

Sunday afternoon will feature a live gospel program, children’s activities and vendors from 1 to 5 p.m. on the park grounds.

The following day marks the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which includes guest speakers, the recognition of a Winter Park family which has impacted the community, and live Motown and blues music starting at 3 p.m. It all starts at 10 a.m. and wraps up at 5 p.m.

“It’s about getting people to never forget about what he really stood for outside of being a minister,” festival Chair Robert Knight said. “He was a person who believed that all people of all shades and opportunities should be given a fair chance.”

“Every man deserves a fair chance.”

Rollins College will throw a celebration of its own from Jan. 20 to 24. The five-day event kicks off with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Vigil at 6 p.m. at Knowles Memorial Chapel. An Equal Rights Symposium at the Faculty Club runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the next day.

Wednesday features a viewing of the film “42” – a biographical movie about Jackie Robinson and his integration into major league baseball – at 6 p.m. at the SunTrust Auditorium.

The traveling exhibit “The Florida Modern Day Slavery Museum” will be on display at Tars Plaza all day on Thursday and Friday.

The celebration ends with a viewing of “The Butler” – a film that tells the story of an African-American butler in the White House who witnesses history over the years – starting at 6 p.m. on Friday at the SunTrust Auditorium.

“When I think of M. L. King obviously I think of a great leader and a great man, but I also think of somebody who led our country to be more calm, to be more inclusive and to recognize the value of all people as people,” Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley said.

“That should be our goal every single day, but to pause once a year and honor his memory and what his holiday stands for is very worthy. I look forward to the events happening in the city.”

Eatonville will celebrate with its 37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade on Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. along Kennedy Boulevard. This year’s theme is “Embrace the Dream – Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Dream for Our World.”

Orlando’s Martin Luther King Jr. parade marches down Orange Avenue in the city’s downtown at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18. The Sound Praise Team Showcase wraps up the event with a gospel music performance starting at 1 p.m. at Lake Eola Amphitheater.


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