Parade and virtual presentation set for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Drew Butler
The Ardmore High School Marching Band Performs during the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. The annual parade will return this year, however the celebration and presentation that typically follows the parade will be done virtually this year.

On Monday, January 18, the City of Ardmore will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Traditionally, the day’s events include a parade followed by a special program at the HFV Wilson Community Center, but this year things will be a little different. Though the parade will take place as usual, the presentation will be held online in order to avoid and large indoors gatherings during a pandemic.

JaMia Cody, programming coordinator for the HFV Wilson Community Center, said the parade will follow a similar route to that taken for the last two years. Organizations, businesses and other participants who are interested in being in the parade are asked to meet at Cardinal Park at 9 a.m. to start lining up.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and will make it’s way from the park to the community center.

“The parade route will be the same one we had last year," Cody said. "Once everyone gets to the center, we will be handing out sack lunches just like we normally would have, but no one will be allowed in the building because of coronavirus."

At 12:30 p.m. the presentation will be posted to the HFV Wilson Community Center’s Facebook page. This year’s special guest speaker will be Debra Fields, a longtime veteran educator with Ardmore City Schools. It will also include recorded musical performances.

Cody said she has reached out to several local schools and churches to see if they would like to record a song for the presentation, though individuals and other groups are welcome to submit a recording as well. She suggested songs such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome,” though other songs are welcome as long as they fit with the theme of the celebration.

Cody said all recorded performances must be submitted by next Wednesday in order to be included in the presentation video. While not all performances may be selected, a virtual music program may immediately follow the presentation if there are enough submissions. Email with any questions or to submit a musical performance for consideration.