Marching in memory of MLK

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 1, 2016

IN HONOR OF DR. KING: Participants join together at Rose of Sharon after marching in the parade. File  photo.

IN HONOR OF DR. KING: Participants join together at Rose of Sharon after marching in last year’s parade. File photo.


People from all walks of life in Picayune will march together on Jan. 18 in an annual parade to commemorate civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, located at 501 Weems St.

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Participants are welcomed to park their cars at the Rose of Sharon prior to the parade where buses will be available to transport them to Pleasant Valley in time for the parade.

Immediately following the parade, the church will begin the second-half of the program, which will include prayer, a tribute to Dr. King and a speech from the church’s Pastor David Simmons, Scott said.

The celebratory procession will be escorted by the Picayune Police Department, who will guide the march down North Beech Street to the Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ, located at 500 N. Beech St.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee has sponsored the program for the past 10 years. This year’s theme is “I Have a Dream,” honoring King’s famous speech from 1963.

Etta Scott, event chairperson of the committee, said the parade and the program at the church will be kept short and sweet, compared to years past, in order to focus on the theme’s message.

“Because of the current events, we decided to keep it simple and just focus on the message and bringing the community together and teaching them the meaning of what the importance of fellowship with one another. This is what Dr. King stood for, the empowerment of all people,” Scott said.

Various community groups and individuals will join in on the celebration including, the local NJROTC, county and city officials, Picayune Memorial High School’s band and local churches.

Scott encourages individuals, businesses and organizations to participate in the celebration, especially since there isn’t an entry fee. To register, call parade coordinator Ozie Turner at 601-798-3506.