Sisters to lead Crystal River schools’ band in MLK Day parade

This year’s Share the Dream Parade in Crystal River won’t be shared in name only: The Crystal River Middle School and Crystal River High School marching bands will be led by sisters.

Felicia Cridland, 17, and her sister Rebecca, 14, are the drum majors for CRHS and CRMS respectively. Together, they’ll lead the band through downtown Crystal River on Monday, part of the parade organized by the George Washington Carver Community Center (GWCCC).

“They’re combining the two bands for the Martin Luther King Day parade, and the drum majors are sisters,” said the girls’ grandmother Linda Cridland. “As far as I know, this is the first time they’ve had sisters lead the band.”

Both girls have been involved in music for years. Felicia plays the flute, oboe and piano, and has played in an honor band at the College of Central Florida, according to her grandmother. Rebecca plays the sousaphone, piano, tuba, and saxophone.

Those musical roots go back a little further, too — their mother, Kathleen Cridland, also attended Crystal River High and played in the band.

The GWCCC’s Share the Dream Parade will begin at 11 a.m. Monday near Tire Kingdom, 750 NE 5th St., in Crystal River, and end at Copeland Park, where Oysters Restaurant is catering a picnic at noon. For more information, call 352-212-2665.

Also Monday, the city of Inverness will host an MLK Unity Walk beginning at 8:30 at the Valerie Theatre at 207 Courthouse Square.

Pastor Doug Alexander, founder of the New Church Without Walls, will then lead the 0.2-mile walk at 9 a.m. from the theater to Liberty Park, where there will be several guest speakers and a presentation from Alexander’s church.

Bruce Bellamy, of the Hernando Community Players, will recite King’s Aug. 28, 1963, “I Have A Dream” speech from memory.

Those not wanting to walk can still meet at Liberty Park, located at 286 N. Apopka Ave.

For more information, go online to VisitInvernessFL.com.

Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church will hold a community worship service focusing on King’s message at 5 p.m. today at the Lecanto church, located at 4221 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway.

The Rev. Thurman Williams, pastor of Grace and Peace Fellowship in St. Louis, Missouri, will be a guest speaker.

Music will be provided by the worship team of Christ United Fellowship, a multicultural church in Orlando. Childcare is provided for children ages infant to 4.

For more information, call the church office at 352-746-6200 or find the church online at sevenrivers.org.

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