BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh announced a big change in how Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in the city.

The plan calls for ending the annual parade that’s been held for nearly 2 decades. For the last 17 years it’s been a Baltimore tradition.

The topic has a lot people reacting. The mayor says she’s calling for a day of service to honor Dr. King.

The celebration brings out the masses on MLK Boulevard every year. The parade is likely coming to an end in 2018.

Mayor Pugh wants to trade out some of the sights and sounds with a day of service instead.

“We thought about what Martin Luther King Jr. would want us to do on this particular day and that he was a man of service, he was a man of god, he wanted to share with other people,” Mayor Pugh said.

The change of the event has mixed reactions.

“As long as we honor him, I think that just… I think that’ll work, that works, ” Baltimore resident Isaac Clayton said.

“Why not keep it the same way?” said Levi Israel. “I think Baltimore is the kind of the city they sort of like tradition the like what they recognize.”

The mayor, however, is not cutting out all that’s familiar.

A battle of the marching bands will now be hosted at Morgan State University following the day of service.

While critics argue the change may not please a majority of the public, the mayor’s office says we can expect more info about the day of service in the coming days.

Some volunteer groups in the city have already started promoting and signing up people for projects on MLK Day.

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  1. Kevin Miller says:

    Service seems to be a great alternative in keeping Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream alive.

    Parades don’t really accomplish much and are not traditional for other individuals.

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