MLK day parade debriefing generates ideas for future

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Submitted: Wed, 01/30/2013 - 3:23am
Updated: Wed, 01/30/2013 - 2:14pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Organizers say it drew over 12,000 parade goers to downtown Wilmington but some business owners say the Martin Luther King parade hurt their business.

“Every step is a process and ever process is a learning process so I think this was a growing pain,” said John Hinnant of Wilmington Downtown Incorporated.

A growing pain that brought businessmen and bikers together inside the confines of city hall to discuss ways to improve the Martin Luther King Parade.

After years on Castle Street the parade route was moved to Front Street, which provided mixed results.

“It’s a very passionate thing,” said deputy city manager Tony Caudle. “It’s something that has been very well attended on Castle Street for a very long time. Moving it to a new location obviously a lot of folks didn’t know it was going to happen. So I think it’s very important to make sure that we reach out into the community and make sure we channel some of that passion back into constructive criticism.”

That constructive criticism was written down and discussed amongst the attendees, many of whom say despite a few negatives, holding the parade downtown was overall a positive experience.

“Having walked in the parade on Castle Street and having attended the parade on Castle Street I knew that this was an opportunity to really grow the event into a true community event with a diverse audience with more kids and more families and that happened and to that end it was a success,” said John Hinnant.

“I think it was a net positive,” said Tony Caudle. “Some of the business folks are concerned that they didn’t get as much business out of it that they would like to see. There is always that concern when you block off streets but you know I think it’s a net positive anytime you can 12,000 people downtown on a Monday that aren’t in office buildings, I think that’s a good thing.”


  • Rocky Lane Moore says:

    I read Martin Luther King’s biography while I was still in High School, at a New York Regent’s school in 1965. I was aware from that reading that Dr. King was a uniquely gifted individual, both intellectually, and as an orator. That was when I realized that their was a problem with racism in America. As a focal point on non violence, Dr. King mobilized black America to bring this to the attention of everyone. But nothing amazed me like Dr. King himself. This man was a national treasure, and the people that were responsible for his assasination were not his equal. He was a man who could have been President, if people had taken the time to listen to what he is saying.

    So, I am disappointed in downtown shop owners who put themselves before honoring a fantastic Christian, and moral leader. The MLK parade should be as large as the Azalea Parade, and his memory should continute to be sacred to us all.

  • frankl45 says:

    Your viewpoint! It’s all subjective.

  • Guest 1492 says:

    Dr. King was without a doubt one of the most influential leaders in the civil rights movement. He deserves to be honored for his contributions.

    Having said that …

    He could never be defined as a “fantastic Christian and moral leader”. He was a flagrant multiple adulterer (not serial, and most certainly, not private about it), and as such could never be defined as a “fantastic Christian and moral leader”.

    Spin it all you want, but facts are still facts.

    It also somewhat disturbs me that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two men who most definitely shaped our country more than Dr King ever did are given a half day each and zero parades.

    Perhaps you could give me your explanation for that. Thanks.

  • Guest Reply says:

    Both Washington and Lincoln are already on money…so that’s about all you’ll get for them…even though neither currency is worth a crap any more :-(

  • tweety11 says:

    Maybe you or someone you know can look into why there is not one and get one in the works.Not saying this to be funny or cruel.Just a thought.

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