LARGO — The Greater Ridgecrest Community held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and fish fry Jan. 16, an event that featured a procession through the area neighborhoods followed by an inspirational program and service inside the Greater Ridgecrest YMCA at 1801 119th St. North.
The program was organized by the Friends of Ridgecrest nonprofit in conjunction with the Y and began on a brisk 40-degree morning with a group prayer led by Pastor Richard Landon of Anona United Methodist Church. “This is the dream,” Landon said later of Dr. King’s vision of seeing unity in the community. “We are all here as one today, and it’s awesome to see. We’ve been part of the community for decades and it’s nice to see all the people turn out waving along the parade route. It’s heartwarming to know color doesn’t matter here in Ridgecrest.”
Brian Lowack, assistant to the Pinellas County administrator for mid-county, praised the nonprofit organization for hosting the event. “It’s always good to come to a Friends of Ridgecrest event,” Lowack said before he sat down for a program filled with music, prayer, and words of inspiration. “They always do a great job and it’s great to see the community turn out for this wonderful event.”
For Tiffany Brown, the Ridgecrest Y’s newly installed executive director who was named the parade’s Grand Marshal, it was an honor to be chosen to represent the community she loves on MLK Day.
“I’m so honored I don’t really have words right now,” an elated Brown said as she hopped aboard her customized blue Ford parade float and headed out of the lot to a barrage of applause, waving all the way.