MLK parade to be held downtown

Published 7:37 pm Monday, January 8, 2018

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade will be held Saturday, starting at Granger Park at 1 p.m. This year’s theme is peace, love and harmony.

“[The theme is] exactly what I would love for LaGrange to have — some peace, some love and some harmony,” parade coordinator Yvonne Pittman said. “I would love for everyone to get along. I hate separation. We just need some peace and love and need to get along with each other.”

Pittman said she does not know exactly how many years the annual parade has been held, but that the yearly event has occurred for more than 20 years.

This year’s grand marshal is Callaway Middle School student and Chopped Junior runner-up Zikei Brooks. Pittman said she usually picks civil rights activists, but chose Brooks because he seemed like the perfect pick.

“He is a sweetheart, and he is so excited about the parade,” Pittman said. “He has to go to Atlanta as soon as he leaves the parade to go audition for another cooking show, but I thought that would make other children get excited about the parade.”

The event is sponsored by Theta Xi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

According to Pittman, they are still accepting applications for participants.

“It’s not too late. Although the deadline was this past Friday, I still let everybody come in because some lost their application and can’t find it,” she said. “I’ve had people from Atlanta calling me. It’s going to be a good turnout.”

The parade will have the same route as the LaGrange Christmas Parade and will feature local school marching bands, including LaGrange College’s band.

“I also hope that we get more than just [African American] participation in the parade. We want more people to come out to see the parade,” Pittman said. “The reason we have the parade is to keep Dr. King’s dream alive, and it also funds our scholarship. Our sorority gives two scholarships every year to two high school seniors and that’s where the money goes that we collect for the fees for the parade.”

Those who still want to participate can contact Pittman at (706) 616-2484.