APALACHICOLA, Fla. (WMBB) — One of the only in-person Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in the Panhandle took place in downtown Apalachicola Monday morning.
With many members of the community recognized and other tributes made, community members gathered to celebrate the day.
The 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration brought in residents from all over, beginning with a caravan through the downtown area.
“I’m so glad, I am really so glad. We had a wonderful turnout. The motorcade was wonderful. People were already here with their lawn chairs. We did it by CDC guidelines, every single person had on a mask.” said MLK Advisory Board Director, Dolores Hayward Croom.
Honoring Dr. King in many ways, the theme of this year’s celebration was “The time is always right to do the right thing.”
“He was about the people, no race, no creed, no color. He was about people. And he needs to be recognized every year.” said Croom.
With many front line workers and first responders recognized at the celebration, the first-ever MLK Champion award was also given out.
The recipient of this award was the late Eddie Joseph III for his service to the Franklin County community. His daughter accepted the award in his honor.
“As such a time as this, alongside Dr. King who was also an awesome man. I thought it was very special. My daddy was right along those lines, he cared about everybody. No matter color, age, gender, it didn’t matter. He would help anybody he could.” said Eddie Joseph’s Daughter, Adriane Joseph.
“Mr. Eddie Joseph III. He’s not here but we still thought it was important that his achievements hard work for the students of franklin county be recognized,” said Croom.
Attendees say although this year’s celebration was different due to COVID-19, they are happy they were able to celebrate this holiday.