Demand Mayor Pugh and BOPA restore the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade.
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According to Baltimore Magazine, the 2018 MLK Day Parade will be replaced with a "Day of Service." We demand that the parade be restored alongside the day of service.
According to that same article, the MLK Day Parade "has attracted hundreds of spectators from all across the region to participate in the festivities. On average, more than 50 groups have participated in the event each year ranging from high school and community bands to color guards, fraternities and sororities, dance squads, and civic organizations." Removing the parade means lessening the visibility of black Baltimore, and lessening the city's accountability to celebrating black Baltimore. This is especially apparent in light of the city's scaling back of the African-American Festival this same year.
Mayor Pugh attended Hampden's Christmas Parade as well as the Mt. Vernon Monument Lighting this year. While we understand the city and BOPA budget is tight, we believe that the MLK parade and what it symbolizes are inherently valuable, and worth at least as much if not more city investment as Light City, Artscape, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, or indeed any other artistic event in Baltimore.
Restore the MLK Day Parade because it truly represents Baltimore: joyful, unpretentious, and made up of a wide mix of groups and people, at least 63% of which are African-American.
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