15th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and program to be held in Clanton

Published 4:08 pm Friday, January 9, 2015

Clanton’s 15th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade and program will be held Jan. 19.

A parade will begin at 1 p.m. and wind through downtown Clanton before ending at E.M. Henry Park in West End.

Organizer Robert Binion said 3-by-5 foot flags featuring King will be flown by parade participants this year.

Anyone wishing to participate in the parade should line up at Clanton City Park at noon.

Participants are encouraged to walk, but vehicles are allowed.

Binion said there is no fee to participate. A donation is usually requested but not required.

“We’re not going to turn anybody away,” he said.

The parade will travel down Third Avenue North, turn left onto Sixth Street North, take Jackson Avenue over to Seventh Street North, then turn onto Second Avenue North into the West End Community. The parade will turn off Second Avenue onto 14th Street South and make its way to E.M. Henry Park in West End, where a program will be held.

In previous years, the program has been held at the E.M. Henry Head Start Center, but because of construction at the facility, it’s possible the program will be held under a tent set up at the park.

Connye Bryant with Hallelujah 104.3 in Montgomery will be the guest speaker.

Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver and other officials are also expected to address the crowd.

Binion said it’s important to recognize King’s legacy each year “to show that we haven’t forgotten the struggle.”

“I marched in the first Dr. King march, from Selma to Montgomery, when I was 16,” he said. “Really, at that time, I didn’t know what it was about, but now that I’m older, I understand.”

Binion’s wife, Lucy, helps organize the parade and program.

“We’re just concerned about the treatment of people, the fair treatment of people,” Lucy Binion said.

Also, a pre-program gospel singing will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Through the Grace of God Ministries.

Such a singing was held for the first time last year.

“We had a good time, and we had a pretty good turnout,” Robert Binion said.

The Sensations of Spiritual Heirs will sing, along with local soloists and a community choir that will also perform during the program on Jan. 19.

Binion said the singing should last about an hour and a half.

Anyone with questions about the parade, program or singing can call Binion at (205) 299-1873.