Martin Luther King Jr. parade set for Monday with new route

Published 10:52 am Friday, January 14, 2022

On Monday, Jan. 17 the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Picayune will host its annual parade featuring guest speakers, free food, antique cars and free voter registration.

At 9:30 a.m. the parade will start rolling at the eastside of Leola Jordan Park and end at J.P. Johnson Park on Rosa Street. The parade route will start at Leola Jordan Park on Canal Street, cross the train tracks, turn left on Main Street, then turn right on Rosa Street and end at J.P Johnson Park where the festivities will be held.

This year’s theme is “Together We Are Strong.” Committee Director Vinner Scott said the theme is based on a powerful message by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“After reading a transcript where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addresses students at Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, Iowa, There was a quote, which stood out to me that helped to choose this year’s theme,” Scott said. “It read, ‘I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.’”

Scott said the Committee is committed to doing just that, helping to bring this community together and include all races, color, national origins, sex, religion or age groups.

“We are definitely committed to bringing this community together so we all can work together,” said Scott.

After the parade there will be free entertainment at J.P Johnson Park,  including gospel recording artist Drea Marie, niece of American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, the soulful sounds of Gabrielle and Slijie, and Picayune’s own Trey Wynn. Antique Cars from Street Rods of Picayune will be on display, and free food will be served. Scott said this year’s meal will include red beans and rice, chicken, hot dogs, homemade chili, turkey necks and corn.

Representatiaves will also be on hand to assist attendees with voter registration and or head start registration.

Scott said plenty of local sponsors and volunteers came together to help organize this year’s event, including officials with the city of Picayune, Picayune Police Department, Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, Pastor Donald Hart, several church pastors and church leaders, Hancock Bank of Picayune, Community of Christians Helping Youth, Brown Funeral Home, All Occasion Truck Club, YUNEity, NAACP, Pearl River County Democratic Party, Oasis Addiction Recovery, Picayune Carver Culture Center, Chick-N-Stick, Big Harts Burgers, and more.

Masks aren’t required during the parade or at the park event but Scott asks people wear masks and practice other COVID safety measures throughout the event.