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Sat, Sep

The Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles is the largest King Day celebration in the nation

A cheer squad passes through the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Photo by Jason Lewis

News

Over 200,000 people are expected to converge on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

By Tracey Edwards

The Kingdom Day Parade brings out the very best of the community, and it showcases the various cultures that reside in South Los Angeles.  High school marching bands, youth dance teams, fraternity and sorority step teams, Caribbean Carnival dancers, custom bicycle clubs, parade floats, custom cars, and the like will all be on display on Monday, Jan. 16.  

The Kingdom Day parade brings out several cultures from around the country and the world. From New Orleans to Africa to the Caribbean. Photo by Jason Lewis

This parade is one of South Los Angeles’ marquee events, and it is the oldest and largest King Day celebration in the nation.  The purpose of this event is to represent what Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.

“This day is about love, peace, harmony, and justice,” said Adrian Dove, parade president and CEO.  “This is the only holiday that stands purely for love and fighting for equality for everybody, using the weapon of love.  It’s the strongest message that we have on any holiday.”

The parade will travel westbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, starting on Western Avenue.  The route will turn left on Crenshaw Boulevard.  It will end at Vernon Avenue in Leimert Park, where there will be a festival.  

The parade will begin at 10:15 a.m., with the television broadcast on ABC starting at 11 a.m.

While this parade is a celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy, the holiday’s intent is to perform community service, and this parade serves that purpose in various ways.

The Kingdom Day parade features colorful floats. Above, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. shows off their crimson and cream colors. Photo by Jason Lewis

“One of the services that people can do is to feed the mind and the spirit of people,”  Dove said.  

With the current political climate in this country, this year’s parade theme is “now more than ever, we must work together.”

This celebration gives a number of community organizations a chance to promote their efforts to the public and perform their services.  

For people looking to perform community service on that day, Dove is looking for volunteers to donate their time at the event.  Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.  People can apply to be volunteers on the parade’s website, or by calling (844) 454-6432.  

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., step down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Photo by Jason Lewis

For more information about the parade, visit www.kingdomdayparade.org, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.