Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade to use new route - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade to use new route

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

There are going to be a few changes to this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in downtown Savannah, the city's 35th.

Traditionally, the parade begins on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and West Anderson Street and ends on East Broad and Jones. This year, the parade will begin at Liberty and East Broad to Broughton and end on MLK and West Anderson.

The reason for the reverse? The staging area near Anderson and MLK was just too cramped.

Floats, cars, and trolleys sprawled out through the narrow streets of Ogeechee Road and the streets in the 30s. 

So after consulting with Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police, who provide traffic control and security for the parade, and passing out a survey on how to improve the parade last year, parade organizers decided to begin on East Broad, which is a much wider street. 

Another thing to come out of the survey? The call time of the participants. 

"We moved the report time a little bit because people were complaining about being there early," said Parade Committee Chairman, Leroy Burke, III. "The parade starts at 10 a.m. and we had people coming in a 7 a.m., so we did move that up an hour.  The first people arrive at 8 a.m. now, and we just hope everyone arrives on time, so we can get them ready to begin the parade at 10 a.m."

They've increased parade participants from 291 in 2013 to 325 this year, so they'll definitely need that extra set up space.

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