Both Shiloh and South Gwinnett High were involved in this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day parade, adding energy, enthusiasm and excitement to an event that drew hundreds of people.
“I think that the diversity we have in Snellville has allowed people to feel at home here,” said New Jerusalem Baptist Church’s Rev. Elijah Collins, “and not feel like they have to leave Snellville to celebrate the day. It gives the community an opportunity to celebrate the King Day in their own hometown.”
Collins, who organized the event along with the City of Snellville, invited local officials and musicians to perform on the Snellville stage at City Hall after the event. Former Snellville councilman Melvin Everson, now the Executive Director and Administrator of Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity, spoke to the crowd and marched in the parade with Mayor Kautz.
"As the former city councilman, I'm so proud of my city right now," said Everson.
"The unity we seek in communities such as Snellville is a function of freedom," he said to the large crowd. "That freedom comes from people being able to sit where they want; eat where they want; live where they want; go to school where they want; and be where they want to be...
"Here in Snellville," he said, "we [need to] work shoulder to shoulder to build the greatest community in the county of Gwinnett, and in the state of Georgia."
Time2Inspire Entertainment, Triple 7 Dance Company, Yewande, Cheyanne Osoria, Lea Nelson, the South Gwinnett marching band and JROTC, Shiloh marching band, New Jerusalem Baptist's choir and KeKe Wyatt all offered inspirational performances.
Wyatt was being filmed by BET for the show R&B Divas and performed "His Eye is on the Sparrow."
Mayor Kelly Kautz stated that she has always been eager to embrace the diversity of Snellville, and is proud of how the city has built on that momentum.
"Compared to the rest of the county, I believe we've come leaps and bounds when it comes to embracing our diversity," she said.
She and councilman Mike Sabbagh, Dave Emanuel and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts led the Pledge of Allegiance.
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