P.O.W.E.R. seeking parade participants

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.

Organizers of the 5th Avenue Holiday Parade are seeking businesses, civic organizations, community groups, vendors and others to help co-sponsor and participate in the parade that is planned for the second consecutive year to help bring awareness to the business district and to keep the legacy of the historic community alive.



* What: The Fifth Avenue Holiday parade is seeking sponsorship donations, participants and vendors.

* When: Deadline is Nov. 30; parade, 1 p.m. Dec. 14.

* Cost: $25 for vendors, freewill donations for participants and different levels of sponsorship.

* Information: Call 352-375-8247.

Isaac Jones, chairman of People, Organized, Working, Empowered, Renewed, or the P.O.W.E.R. Group, organizer of the parade, said the parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 14 along NW 5th Avenue. The deadline to sign up to participate and to receive donations will be Nov. 30. Vendors will be charged $25 to set up booths and food stands.

Jones said sponsorship donations should be made payable to Isaac Jones for the P.O.W.E.R. Group, and can be mailed to 1215 SE 10th St., Gainesville, FL 32601. Jones also said sponsorship donations can be dropped off at 2 Friends Coffee Shop at 1001 NW 5th Ave. from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

"We have sort of targeted churches, sororities and fraternities, private individuals and businesses to give donations to help sponsor the parade," said Jones, adding that the budget to put on the parade is about $2,500. "Last year, most of that money came out of my pocket, but this year, we would like more sponsors, along with more participants, who have a connection to the community."

Jones said the parade route will begin at NW 3rd Street and 8th Avenue and proceed south to NW 5th Avenue, west to NW 12th Street, north on NW 12th Street and disassemble in the parking lot at the A. Quinn Jones Center.

The Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Wright, pastor emeritus of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, will serve as grandmaster of the parade.

"This was the predominant African-American business district for a long, long time, and this was pretty much the only business district we knew to be African-American in this area," Jones said. "There is a history and a connection to the community that has died over the years, with many of the former African-American business owners dying, and their businesses dying along with them."

Jones said he will be asking Hershel Lyons, interim superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools, to encourage school bands to have their drum lines participate. He also said there is a chance a drum line from a school in Daytona Beach will participate.

Poinsettia J. Greene, a member of the parade coordinating committee, said it will be a thrill to see the community embrace the parade. Greene, a former majorette who has taught young girls how to twirl batons for years, took part in the parade last year.

"It will be nice to see the parade grow and become an annual event that we can all look forward to every year," Greene said.

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