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Dr. King Parade 9 days away

There will be two focal figures in this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade next Monday, Jan. 19.

As always, the parade will honor the late Civil Rights hero whose name it bears, in addition to another leader who broke racial barriers to demonstrate the hope of the American dream — President-elect Barack Obama. And appropriately so, as the holiday falls just a day before the upcoming historic Presidential Inauguration.

“We will be honoring Dr. King and saluting President-elect Obama,” Evangelist Robert Binion, parade coordinator, said. “We are showing that we have not forgotten some of those who were in the trenches when the Civil Rights Movement first began. We can only forgive, we can’t forget.”

Binion had actually planned to attend the Inauguration himself but decided to stay here to continue his efforts in coordinating the annual parade.

The parade will line up at Jack Hayes Field between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and begin marching at 1. It will proceed across town, ending up at E.M. Henry Skill Center where guest speaker the Rev. Joel L. Atchison of Randolph will address the crowd.

“He’s been a minister since a real young age,” Binion said.

Also, guest singers Evangelist Lucy Binion and Ashley Porter will lend their voices in song.

As for the parade itself, the Keith High School Marching Band is expected to make another appearance as are members of the state’s Public Service Commission.

In addition, the theme for this year will be “Jesus is the Way.”

“If not for Jesus, we would not be where we are today,” Binion said.

—Scott Mims can be reached at scott.mims@clantonadvertiser.com.