Mayor Ron Nirenberg responded Friday to news the 2021 iteration of the local MLK March will not happen in person.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg responded Friday to news the 2021 iteration of the local MLK March will not happen in person. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg responded Friday to news that the 2021 edition of the annual MLK March, one of the country’s largest, has been canceled.

The mayor said he was disappointed to see the in-person celebration called off in favor of an all-virtual event.

“If there’s a window of opportunity perhaps to reconsider if the environment changes a little bit, that’s one of the events that we take the most pride in as a community,” Nirenberg said. “It’s the largest MLK march in the country. Certainly, count me among those who would love to see it happen again, especially given all that we’ve experienced together as a community this year.

“I haven’t talked with folks in the commission. I certainly would defer to their good judgment. But, again, we’ll see what happens. There’s still plenty of time before the march itself.”

More than 300,000 people participated in the January march this year. The march has taken place annually for more than 50 years in San Antonio’s predominantly Black East Side.

The City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission made the decision to cancel all in-person festivities at its meeting in August, according to reporting from Texas Public Radio, because of ongoing concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The 2021 virtual march will take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18.

As for other events in 2021, Fiesta remains scheduled for April after being canceled this year for the first time since World War II.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez is the San Antonio Report's audience engagement editor.