Brooksville MLK Day parade returns after 2-year absence

7:39 PM, Jan 20, 2014   |    comments
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Brooksville, Florida -- Downtown Brooksville hasn't been this lively for MLK Day for much too long.

Six bands from Tampa, Pasco and Hernando County were the highlights of a parade that almost didn't happen. 

For the last two years the MLK Day Parade in Hernando County had been canceled, because of a lack of support from the business community. But this year the folks at the Walmart Distribution Center in Brooksville decided to get involved and help sponsor the event.

"We formed a committee about 90 days ago and we met every week," says Walmart Human Resources Manager Billy Healis. "It's gonna be the biggest and best parade Hernando County has ever seen."

With thousands coming out to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, it's easy to forget Hernando's rocky race history.

"It has been rocky," says Paul Douglas with the Hernando County NAACP. "The good thing, of course, is that time changes a lot... and we are now beginning to see that change."

Change that for some has been a long time coming.

"We've come a long way, but we still got a long way to go," says Andrew Williams.

A fifth generation Brooksvillian, Williams says this little parade in this little town will have an impact felt throughout Hernando County.

"I see a melting pot of fine people ... for the people of Hernando County to come together like this, it's phenomenal. It's almost historic."

Now the organizers are already talking about next year being bigger and better with the possible addition of a fireworks show.

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