Next week people all over America will be celebrating just how far we’ve come
as a nation. Not ones to waste a 3-day weekend, Americans will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s
birthday (which is today) on Monday, January 19th. The inauguration of President Barack Obama takes place the next day.
In Los Angeles there is a 20-plus year tradition of people dancing in the streets for MLK day. While celebratory
and reflective events will take place all weekend
all over the area, the big main parade happens on the official holiday in Los Angeles. Although King’s birthday was officially designated a national holiday in 1983, this is only the 24th year of the parade.
courtesy of celesking.com
This year the parade will begin at 10:30 AM at the corner of Western Ave. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd in Los Angeles. The route goes west to Crenshaw and south to Vernon, and depending where you are on the route, the entire processional should last about two and a half hours. This year’s parade will feature 18 marching bands, floats, and celebrity guests including Tyler Perry, Tony Grant, and Orlando Brown.
Celesking Bail Bonds
, sponsor of the parade this year, says that a visitor’s best bet for parking will be at the parade’s end near Leimert Park
, where an all-day “Presidential Dreams” Fest and Gospel Celebration
will be taking place with live music and food vendors. One great intention of the parade’s organizers that I hope will actually come true is the ban on vendors on the parade route between Degnan and Crenshaw. That’s the TV and judging area, so one might have to get there early for a spot on those two blocks, but it might be worth it. Anyone who’s ever taken a kid to a parade learns to dread those guys selling cheap trinkets on their rolling carts who seem to exist solely to block your view of the parade, start your children whining, and add to your collection of useless clutter.
Most people use this holiday to go on a short vacation. Why not join a celebration that actually has something to do with this special day, which is one of only three national holidays that celebrates an individual person. What a remarkable person, indeed.