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Caldwell County MLK Parade marches on, but as car parade

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There were high hopes that COVID restrictions would be lifted by the time the calendar turned to 2021, and annual community events would be able to get back to normal.

But as the city prepares for its first parade of the year, restrictions are still in place—so residents continue to modify.

The MLK Parade organized by District 1 Pride, which has taken place every MLK Day since 2004, will still be held. But like other parades last year, it will be a car parade to keep people at a safe distance.

“Things weren’t progressing as well as we would have liked them to progress and we didn’t want to take any chances,” Beverly Anderson, Vice President of District 1 Pride said in a phone interview. “And we definitely didn’t want to not have it because we worked so hard to create this.”

The parade will start at Seawillow and MLK Boulevard at 10 a.m. on Monday Jan. 18. Lockhart Mayor Lew White will give a proclamation to begin the parade, speaking on a PA system to the cars gathered. Following the speech, the cars will proceed to Trinity Street, to the square, and finish at Lockhart City Park.

District 1 Pride is encouraging everyone to decorate their vehicles. The three best-decorated will receive a $50 gift card.

As in past years free meals will be provided at the conclusion of the parade. This year Chisolm Trail Bar B Q partially sponsored the event and will provide chopped/sliced barbeque sandwich, chips, and desert. Participants are advised to drive up at City Park to receive their free meal.

While District 1 Pride managed to keep the parade route and meals going for this year’s event, they were not able to do a program. Past year’s events included dance programs, singers, a speaker, as well as a humanitarian award.

“The saddest part for me is that we are not going to be able to continue to send the message out,” Anderson said. “We thought about the Zoom, but we just didn’t think the technology-wise we were prepared to do that, and everything that entails.”

Currently Mayor White will be the only one to speak at the event.

“He [mayor] will be the only one to say anything because we want to discourage gatherings so we can’t have any speakers, any awards,” Anderson said. “We want to discourage people from walking around.”

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