Oakland Park is celebrating its annual Youth Day carnival and parade for the 63rd year this Saturday, March 14th. It is currently Broward County’s longest-running parade.
This year, Earnest “Ernie” Mitchell has been named Grand Marshal for the 2020 celebration. Grand Marshals are chosen for their dedication and service to the community.
There is perhaps no better person to lead this year’s Youth Parade. Earnest Mitchell began his career with the City of Oakland Park in 1988. No doubt, if your child has played an Oakland Park sport or attended one of the various camps before 2017, your child has encountered Mr. Mitchell. Beloved for his cheerful attitude, and careful guidance to the youth over the years, Mr. Mitchell is a true Oakland Park staple.
Over his 30-year tenure, he has been the recreation coordinator for Oakland Park’s Park and Leisure Department. He is responsible for implementing many of the child and youth programs that currently exist in the city, including flag football, soccer, and basketball. He also worked closely with the summer, spring break, and winter camps as well as the Teen Club program over the years.
During his employment, Ernie was an active member of the youth advisory board and is responsible for implementing mandatory background checks for youth sports coaches, mandatory parent meetings and financial assistance for those in need in the Oakland Park community. He is now enjoying his retirement and working part-time as a referee and official.
Many Oakland Parker’s have fond memories of Mr. Mitchell over the years. What are some of yours? Feel free to share in the comments below and be sure to congratulate Mr. Mitchell for being a pillar in the community for so many years.
The parade starts at 10:00 am beginning at Jaco Pastorious Park. 4000 N. Dixie Highway and ends at Wimberly Field 4000 N.E. 3rd Avenue.
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.