Lexington City Council schedules January parades

By  | 

LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) -- After two months of permit applications and public statements,
It all came down to a couple of simple votes at Lexington City Council tonight.
A newly formed group, CARE Rockbridge, applied in October for a parade permit to celebrate the Martin Luther King holiday next January.
“We felt like we needed to have something that would represent the community, the diverse community of Lexington," Reginald Early of CARE Rockbridge says. "Something that would represent what Dr. King stood for.”
On the date that, for 17 years, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have paraded through downtown Lexington to celebrate the Virginia state Lee-Jackson holiday.
“This year is the first real trouble we’ve had with getting the permit,” says J.R. Rankins, Lt. Commander of the Stonewall Brigade, SCV. “I’m not against the group CARE that got the slot that we would normally would get. I’m a little bit more upset that council granted it based on that we had precedent.”
“All we wanted to do was to honor Dr. King’s legacy, and we applied early enough to do that,” Early explains.
Through November, City Manager Noah Simon fielded a series of applications and emails from the groups, as well as a third organization, the Virginia Flaggers. And now after a pair of votes, CARE will parade on Saturday, the SCV on Sunday, and the Flaggers not at all.
“Let them have their march and we can do ours,” Rankin says.
“It seems like everybody is happy," Early says. "Satisfied.”
The Virginia Flaggers withdrew their parade permit requests. Instead, they will merely "gather" at "Stonewall" Jackson's tomb Saturday afternoon.