Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade Back on in Laurel - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade Back on in Laurel

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LAUREL -- Last week a committee in Laurel turned down an organization's application to hold the 27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade because they did not meet their 30 day deadline.

But now, the parade is back on.

Several local ministers met with Mayor Johnny Magee late Tuesday and agreed to pay the $766 fee associated with paying the city's public works department and police force's overtime.

Magee said putting the parade on hold was never against Dr. King or civil rights.

"We're simply upholding the ordinances," he said. "It's just like speeding and DUI. It's the law, and that's what we're doing, upholding the law."

He said now that the rules are spelled out plainly, they will be fully carried out in the future.

"It will continue to be enforced as long as it is on the books," Magee said.

He heard some ministers plan to approach the city council to change the ordinance, waiving the fee for the MLK Parade.

"Whether that's passed by the city council is strictly up to the seven members of the council, and whatever they pass I'll enforce," Magee said.

He said recognizing Dr. King is important.

"I would not be sitting in this seat if it had not been for Dr. King and people like him who fought to make sure that blacks were able to vote and be elected to office," Magee said.

And he hopes this recent misunderstanding doesn't cause citizens to forget the reason for the celebration.

"I think that we need to focus on Dr. King and not personalities involved in this past debate," Magee said. 

The parade is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. in downtown Laurel.

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