Walk, or Zoom, on Dr. King holiday

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If you live on the Forgotten Coast you have a couple options for celebrating the upcoming Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

None of them are business as usual.

In Port St. Joe, organizers canceled the annual commemorative walking together parade celebration, while in Apalachicola the organizing committee is preparing for a ‘Let Us Do The Right Thing” motorcade/walk.

The motorcade route in Apalachicola on Monday starts at the Holy Family Senior Center, continues along MLK Jr. Boulevard to 12th Street, 12th Street to 98, and on to Battery Park. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, scooters, skate boards, own two feet, are all encouraged. Social distances and face masks are required.

Following the motorcade walk, special recognition will be given to the county’s front-line workers, from the county health department and Weems Memorial Hospital, the county food pantry, Franklin’s Promise Coalition and Tabernacle of Faith Int’l Ministries. Former Franklin County educator, the late Coach Eddie Joseph will be honored.

For more information, call Dolores Croom at 653-5943 or Robert Davis at 653-5089.

In Gulf County, organizers decided to establish “an alternative approach to honoring the day in a way that aligns with the City of Port St. Joe and pays tribute to the legacy of a truly amazing man!”

The Virtual Zoom event will be on Monday, Jan. 18, as a time for “a whole community day of prayer for togetherness, peace, and agape (unconditional) love.

“The present pandemic we are currently facing in the United States and around the world causes us to look differently at how we interact with family, friends, and our communities. To that end, we are taking a more creative approach to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy in 2021,” said Diaconal Ecumenical UMC Minister Tommy Curtis.

“Please be certain that each of your active participation levels is great desired, greatly appreciated and greatly needed for the continued success of the sixth annual commemorative celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther Jr. in Port St. Joe,” he said.

The Zoom day begins Monday at 9 a.m. EST and continues at 10 a.m. with “The Community Prayers for Community Togetherness, Peace and Agape Love for each other in our community and community prayer for healing.”

Access to the Zoom meeting can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yyy8mqnj.

The meeting identification is #775 6720 0880. The passcode is nCDe3v

For additional information, please contact Curtis, with Freedom Exchange Community Development Centers of the Americas Foundation, Inc. at (850) 545 8646 or Psalmist Cora McNair Curtis at (850) 890- 6563 or Email freedom1foundation@gmail.com 

Contributions can be made to the Freedom Exchange Foundation, and mailed to P.O. BOX 1372, Port St. Joe, FL 32457-1372.

In Panama City the ripple effect of COVID-19 continued as organizers made the "difficult decision" to cancel the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial March and accompanying festival.

It was a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, which brought a halt to a string of marches that began more than 30 years ago. It started with the march and the festival at McKenzie Park was added later.

"This was a difficult decision to make and we wrestled with it for quite some time before concluding that the health and safety of our vendors and participating community members were far more important than our annual traditions," according to the news release sent by ACURE  (Advisory Committee for Urban Revitalization Equity) Chairman Myron Hines. "We are grateful to all those who have always come together over the decades to help make these events successful."

This article originally appeared on The Star: Walk, or Zoom, on Dr. King holiday

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