MLK Caravan

Cliff Williams / The Outlook The Benjamin Russell Marching Wildcat Pride will not be in the caravan but Teresa Moten hopes people will decorate their cars and trucks and take part in a caravan of vehicles without marchers and walkers.

Teresa Moten and Concerned Parents for Academic and Community Excellence (Co-PACE ) are planning an alternative celebration, ‘Your Time to Dream,’ to the canceled annual MLK Celebration in Alexander City.

Moten said plans are still coming together for the Jan. 18 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday but a few things are for sure.

“We are going to do a prayer vigil at 5 p.m. at the Nathaniel Stephens Elementary School flag pole for sure,” Moten said. “We are looking at spreading out everyone and keeping those in cars as much as possible in the parking lot.”

Moten said she understands the concerns of many with the COVID-19 pandemic but believes the community should still mark the accomplishments of King.

“Dr. King did so much,” Moten said. “We feel something should be done.”

The prayer gathering will feature 7-year-old Alisa Wykcoff according to Moten.

The day will start with a caravan of cars, trucks and four-wheelers.

“We will leave the school at 9 a.m.,” Moten said. “We will travel down Laurel Street to Jefferson Street. We are hoping to use the Broad Street Plaza to turn around and go back to the school we are working on that.”

Moten said there will be no walkers in the caravan, only people in the cars.

“We are encouraging them to decorate them,” Moten said. “We also want people to make posters to mark the occasion to put up along Laurel Street before the caravan.”

Moten said a 10 a.m. gathering at the school’s flagpole is also planned.

Moten said buildings would not be open and restrooms would not be available.

Moten said the prayers will not just be about King and his accomplishments. Moten said Co-PACE is trying to put together banners to acknowledge the efforts of leaders in Alexander City and beyond who contributed to the Civil Rights movement.

“The theme is going to be ‘It is your time to dream,’” Moten said. “The dream was about his children, my children and all children. We should be able to come together to remember and acknowledge that.”

Moten said she hopes everyone will practice good COVID-19 protocols of wearing masks and social distancing. She said Co-PACE intends for the prayers and other events to work within the Alabama Department of Public Health’s guidelines.

“It’s going to be a safe thing,” Moten said. “We plan to have it no matter if there is rain, snow or whatever.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.