The City of Winter Park will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 22nd Annual Unity Heritage Festival, Jan. 14 and 15, at Shady Park in Hannibal Square.
The event began as a celebration of the history of Hannibal Square and the contributions of its residents. It evolved from a one-day gathering to a two-day festival, welcoming hundreds of attendees and benefiting local economically disadvantaged youth through the Educational Fulfillment Fund. Event partners include the Winter Park Community Development Agency, Parks & Recreation Department, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Nu Iota Omega Chapter, and Crealdé School of Art.
The festival will begin on Sunday, Jan. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m. with children’s games, career booths, food and retail vendors. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Nu Iota Omega Chapter will present job training and health literacy programming, and the day’s entertainment will feature gospel artists and praise dance performances. Patrons are encouraged to visit Hannibal Square Heritage Center to view exhibits paying tribute to the past, present, and future of Winter Park’s historic Black community.
The celebration continues on Monday, Jan. 15, with a special 9:15 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony at the Unity Corner community space, located on the northeast corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at Denning Drive and Morse Boulevard. The community is invited to the ceremonial event which will precede the start of construction, scheduled later in the month. When complete, the space will feature a larger-than-life bronze statue of Dr. King titled “Ripple” in honor of the ripple effect of his influence. The statue was created by artist Andrew Luy and has been approved by The MLK Foundation.
Events at Shady Park will then resume, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an official program featuring city and community leaders beginning at 11 a.m. Zoo Mom Science, blues and jazz bands will join the festival’s entertainment schedule.
For additional information on the 22nd Annual Unity Heritage Festival, please call 407-599-3357.