Annapolis will host the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade this weekend followed by a free festival celebrating the African diaspora.
The parade will kick off at noon Saturday at West Street and Amos Garrett Boulevard. Residents should expect rolling street closures along the parade route, which will continue down West Street, around Church Circle and down Main Street to City Dock.
Following the parade’s conclusion, a family-friendly African diaspora festival will begin at 1 p.m. at Susan Campbell Park on City Dock. Live performances, vendors, artists and food sales will continue until 8 p.m.
The brainchild of Pat Montague, founder of the Annapolis Drum and Bugle Corps, the inaugural parade was held in 2015. The corps co-sponsors the event with the city to this day.
After noticing the city had never held a parade for King, Montague decided to bring one to the city eight years ago. Typically held around the late civil rights leader’s birthday in January, organizers decided in 2019 to delay the event to the spring to avoid weather-related disruptions.
The parade may not escape the weather this year, however, as Saturday’s forecast calls for a 90% chance of showers, mostly before 3 p.m., and a high of 72 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Garages along the parade route that will be open include Gotts, Park Place, Knighton and Whitmore. The free magenta shuttle will also be operating. The shuttle stops and schedule can be found at accessannapolis.com. The Noah Hillman Garage, which is being renovated, will not be open Saturday.