Ocoee, Winter Garden will recognize MLK at events Jan. 16

Both cities are hosting parades and programs to commemorate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to promote unity.

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The cities of Winter Garden and Ocoee are both celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with parades and celebrations Monday, Jan. 16.



The city of Winter Garden is hosting its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The parade will begin at the corner of Plant and Dillard streets and march down Plant to Central Avenue. The festival will follow around 10:30 at the Downtown Pavilion on South Lakeview Avenue.

In addition to the parade, which kicks off at 10, the free event will feature speeches from the community, family-friendly activities, displays, food vendors and live stage performers. The Gerry Williams Band, Craig Thompson Project and Selwyn Birchwood will be taking the stage through 4 p.m.

For information, visit cwgdn.org or call (407) 656-4111.



The city of Ocoee’s 15th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Parade and Celebration will be held at 10 a.m. The parade is being held for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The parade begins at Citrus Elementary School, 87 N. Clarke Road, and ends at the parking lot of the West Oaks Mall on Clarke. The public is invited to attend a post-parade celebration at 11 in the mall’s food court.

Daralene Jones will be the keynote speaker at the MLK celebration. Jones anchors the 4 p.m. newscast on WFTV-Channel 9 with Greg Warmoth. She also is an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter who contributes to the Channel 9 Investigates team, focusing on in-depth reports.

Allie Braswell, of Braswell Management LLC, will serve as the master of ceremony at the MLK celebration. The program will include the presenting of the colors by the Ocoee High School JROTC and the national anthem sung by Ocoee resident Sherri Gladney. Sixth-grader Hailey Smith, winner of last year’s City of Ocoee Black History Month Essay Contest, will recite her award-winning essay.

For more information, visit ocoee.org or call (407) 905-3100.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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