Vidalia community honors legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Vidalia community honors legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Vidalia, Ga. (WTOC) - Folks in the Vidalia community came out Monday for the 5th annual MLK parade to celebrate his legacy.

The parade route was filled with people celebrating and remembering all the pioneers who took a chance to stand for the rights of the people, but of course the focus was on Dr. King himself.

City officials, churches, bands and dancers waved to the crowds and even the Vidalia onion made an appearance!

Parade leader, Michael Johnson says it's great to see so many kids involved in learning and understanding the meaning of this historic day.

"He laid the foundation for them, and everyone, to have the opportunity to be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin. Today is another opportunity for us to encourage them to believe and achieve all their dreams,” Johnson said.

Some say thanks to Dr. King, they can accomplish anything.

"I am able to do what I want to do. I just graduated college with my associates and I'm going back for my bachelor's in the fall,” community member Imani Williams said.

With an annual parade and after party, people in the Vidalia community are remembering all of the pioneers who took a chance to stand for the rights of the people, specifically Dr. King.

"As he stated, violence breeds violence,” First African Baptist Church Pastor Carl Wardlaw Jr. said.

Grand Marshal of the parade, Wardlaw Jr. has served as the pastor of the First African Baptist Church for 20 years. He says his sermons this week have focused on the importance of what went down in history.

"God actually sent him and worked through him,” Wardlaw said.

Many of the children in the community participated and are continuing to learn and understand Dr. King's impact.

"He wanted black boys and black girls, white boys and white girls to play together and love each other,” Marcel McManus said.

And this understanding can be passed on through generations to come.

"He laid the foundation for them, and everybody, to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin,” Johnson said.

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