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Martin Luther King Jr. parade scheduled

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in downtown Clanton and the West End community will be held on Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.

Those who are driving or walking in the parade will begin to assemble at Jack Hayes Field in Clanton City Park off of Lay Dam Road at noon.

“There is always room for everybody, anybody and everybody,” organizer Robert Binion said.

He and co-organizer Lucy Binion are hoping to see more walkers this year.

Contact Robert Binion (205) 299-1873 or Lucy Binion (205) 217-2053 for more information. Shirts with a Martin Luther King Jr. theme will be offered again this year.

Robert Binion said the parade would begin at 1 p.m. and follow a route to the E. M. Henry Community Center.

From Clanton City Park, the parade will proceed on Third Avenue North, then make a left on Sixth Street. The parade will continue on Sixth Street until Jackson Avenue. After making a right onto Jackson Avenue, the parade will go right onto Highway 31, followed by a left turn onto Second Avenue, then a left on Martin Luther King Jr. Street. From there, the parade will turn onto First Avenue North before turning onto 14th Street and proceeding to E. M. Henry Recreational Center.

“If the train is on the track, we will go an alternate route over the overhead,” Robert Binion said.

Robert Binion said he was thankful to Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver for allowing the Martin Luther King Jr. Day flags to be flown downtown for the event.

The parade has been an annual event for at least 20 years.

“I just don’t want young people to get lost in the shuffle about how the civil rights struggle and the civil rights movement was,” Robert Binion said. “… We got here because we kept asking for equal justice under the law.”

He said standing up for the rights of others is an ongoing journey, and he hopes to continue to see progress.

“Martin Luther King died hoping that little white children and little black children could walk together one day hand in hand and love one another,” Lucy Binion said. “I feel that love and being together is a part of that hope, and I feel like this event is a great event for togetherness, so we can continue his vision.”

After the parade, the festivities will continue with guest speaker Maplesville Town Councilwoman Shelia Hall.

The theme for the event is 2020 Vision.

“We want to try to make things better for all America — not just Black America,” Robert Binion said.

The event will conclude with cash prizes and free hamburgers and hot dogs.

Donations will be accepted.

MLK Day observations will begin on Jan. 19 with a gospel singing at 6 p.m. at E. M. Henry Recreational Center. Musical groups, churches and soloists are invited to be a part. For more information, contact Robert Binion (205) 299-1873 or Lucy Binion (205) 217-2053.