MLK parade held Monday in Jacksonville | News

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MLK parade held Monday in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hundreds of people are expected to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in downtown Jacksonville on Monday.

The city is hosting an annual parade that's put together by a local MLK Memorial Foundation.

MAP: MLK Jr. parade route, traffic and closures

This year, the parade begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Water and Jefferson Streets. It then proceeds through the downtown area to parking lot "J" at EverBank Field. An MLK celebration will then take place at Metro Park from 1 until 5 p.m.

More than 200 floats are scheduled to participate in the parade, including Florida Governor Rick Scott and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

The grand marshal, L. Jerome "Jerry" Spates, will be represented by his family. Spates was the first black Chief of Detectives for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. He worked his way up to that and a number of other positions after starting as a beat cop in the 1960's. Spates retired from law enforcement in 2004, but remained very active in the community. He died last summer from complications caused by a stroke.

His son, Stephen Spates, who also works at JSO, told First Coast News the foundation chose his father as grand marshal because he embodied many of the principles of Dr. King.

You can find out more about the parade by visiting the foundation's website here.


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