Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events planned

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

Clanton’s 16th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and program will be held Jan. 18.

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

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.

Robert and Lucy Binion organize the event and said there is no fee to participate. A donation is usually requested but not required.

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 under the park’s pavilion.

Binion said it’s important for local residents to remember King’s legacy.

“We see so many things going on in the world,” he said. “We just want to keep this dream alive.”

The Rev. Elijah Goode of the World’s Church of the Living God in Clanton will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

Others recognized will include Doris Ware, who was active in the early Civil Rights Movement.

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

Breakfast events to focus on prayer, community service

Leading up the parade and program, two different breakfast events will be held.

The fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Prayer Breakfast will be begin at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 18 at Morningstar Baptist Church in Clanton, which is located at 4946 County Road 76.

Morningstar’s pastor, the Rev. Roman C. Nix, will be the guest speaker, according to event organizer Juanita Parker with the Alabama Democratic Conference.

The program will also include children from Morningstar and surrounding churches performing a dramatic tribute to the American flag.

There could be other performances during the program, which will last for about an hour and lead into an “old-fashioned” breakfast.

Other area churches have participated in, and hosted, the Prayer Breakfast in previous years.

On Jan. 16 at 8 a.m., a Unity Breakfast will be held at West End Church of Christ’s Fellowship Hall.

Organizer Greg DeJarnett, a Clanton City Councilman, said the event is intended to give the community an update on progress that has been made the previous year and to share a vision for the community.

DeJarnett said he also hopes the breakfast serves to coordinate the efforts of various local community groups, such as NAACP and West End Neighborhood Watch, among others.

“What I want to do is pull everyone together so that we’re working cohesively and collectively for the good of the community,” DeJarnett said. “One organization can’t do it all, but by working together it brings everybody into the process and we can serve the community more comprehensively.”

DeJarnett said he plans to share with attendees a three-phase vision for the community: cleaning up, beautifying (through landscaping, lighting and signage) and then initiating and maintaining programs for local youth and seniors.

The programs could include, for example, working with local schools to offer field trips that would allow children to experience places outside their hometown.

“We can give them a broader vision that there is a larger world out there and let them know that education is the vehicle to get them there,” DeJarnett said.

Also, updates will be given on local projects including renovations to the E.M. Henry Head Start Center and a storm shelter to be opened in the West End community.

Attendees will include local ministers and government officials.

Community stakeholders are invited to attend.

“Dr. King was all about community service, so this is definitely in conjunction with what Dr. King advocated,” DeJarnett said. “We’re putting in place a support structure that will teach people how to give a lifetime of service.”