The life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated Monday in Los Angeles with the 38th Kingdom Day Parade.
Service projects, a Unity Walk in Santa Clarita, a program at the California African American Museum and a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels also are scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Southern California.
This will be the first time the parade will be on Martin Luther King Jr. Day since 2020. The 2021 parade was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2022 parade was initially canceled due to the severity of serious spikes in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and rescheduled on June 20, the day the federal Juneteenth holiday was observed.
Here’s what to know about the parade.
When is the Kingdom Day Parade?
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. in the South Los Angeles area. This year’s theme is “America, the Best Hope of the World.”
Where is the Kingdom Day Parade?
The 3-mile route begins on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, just west of Western Avenue, proceeds west to Crenshaw Boulevard and then south to Vernon Avenue, concluding near the K Line’s Leimert Park Station.
Who is in the Kingdom Day Parade?
The grand marshal will be George C. Fatheree III, the leader of a team of attorneys who secured the return of Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce nearly a century after it had been taken by Manhattan Beach as a result of racial animus.
The USC Trojan Marching Band will participate in the parade for the first time along with the new all-Black majorette team Cardinal Divas of SC. The Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band will also participate as will the marching bands from Centennial, Compton and Crenshaw high schools.
Other participants include equestrian units from the Equine Advisory Council, Elite Horseback Riders Club and Urban Saddles; the Crenshaw Christian Center Drill Team and Drumline, the Kim Eung Hwa Dance Company and Tommy the Clown, credited as the creator of the clown-based dance style krumping.
Dignitaries set to participate include Mayor Karen Bass, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore, Los Angeles County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Holly Mitchell, Reps. Maxine Waters and Sydney Kamlager, Sen. Steve Bradford, Los Angeles City Councilmen Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho and Board of Education member George J. McKenna III.
Service Projects for MLK Day
A variety of service projects is on tap throughout Los Angeles County to fulfill the goal set by Congress in 1994 to make the day a “day on, not a day off.”
The nonprofit volunteer action center L.A. Works will have a Day of Service from noon-3:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where volunteers will create urban greening kits and assemble disaster preparedness materials. The event will also include a food festival with vegan food, the opportunity to learn about local efforts to combat climate change and a family zone with volunteer activities designed for children.
King spoke at the Coliseum in 1964.
The volunteer organization Big Sunday will conduct its 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Clothing Drive & Community Breakfast from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at 24th St. Elementary School in South Los Angeles. Volunteers will collect and assemble 2,023 cold-weather clothing kits that include sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats, scarves, gloves and socks for people who are struggling.
Big Sunday volunteers will also undertake several improvement projects for and with the 24th Street Elementary School community, including indoor mural and gardening projects, according to David Levinson, Big Sunday’s founder and executive director.
Other MLK Day Events
Santa Clarita will have its second annual Unity Walk in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 9 a.m. at Central Park, focusing on King’s legacy and contributions to the nation. Several speakers will celebrate King’s life and work, encourage attendees to embrace King’s core values of faith, education, nonviolence, love, leadership, community and hope and participate in a day of service.
The theme of the program at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park for Martin Luther King Jr. Day is “MLK: A Legacy of Service.”
A King study group session will be from 11 a.m.-noon, beginning with the playing of a recording of King’s 1967 speech at Riverside Church in New York City, “Time to Break the Silence,” followed by a group discussion about how his words relate to the present.
Storytellers from the Los Angeles Public Library will read children’s books about King and how to build a better world from 12:30-1 p.m. The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles will perform a tribute to King from 2-3 p.m. The program also includes family activities, craft-making and food trucks.
A Mass commemorating King’s call for service will be celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 3 p.m.
Source: NBC Los Angeles