Drive-in style MLK celebration in Statesboro

Drive-in style MLK celebration in Statesboro

STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - This year, with a pandemic, many communities looked for ways they could remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In Statesboro, they looked for a way people could still gather but still be distanced, a way to see and hear speakers other than a computer screen. They wanted people to feel they’re part of the observance to remember Dr. King’s struggle for equality and justice.

They found it by recreating something popular in Dr. King’s day - the drive-in.

Main Streets, North and West, won’t have the usual floats and bands that traditionally mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Organizers of the annual parade and church service did not want to risk curbside crowds during the pandemic.

Bulloch County NAACP President Delinda Gaskins says they started planning months ago for an observance that would allow people to take part in person, but safely. Their plan resembles a drive in movie.

“You’ll be inside your car the whole time. You’ll turn your radio dial to the frequency that we give you. We’ll have a stage up front. If you’re up front, you can see them directly. If you’re in the back you can see the video screens,” Gaskins said.

She says some smaller communities continued their parades and larger cities went all virtual. She says she and others knew they had to hold something to mark the life and legacy of Dr. King, especially in the current divisive political climate.

“For us not to honor and acknowledge him in 2021, when we’re in almost the same kind of chaos and we can now see hope, it had to take place,” sha said.

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