14th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, program scheduled

Clanton will host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and program on Monday for the 14th time.

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

Jeff Varner Jr. will serve as the guest speaker at a program at the West End Head Start building.

Robert Binion, who organizes the parade and program, said Varner is a Clanton native who has retired from the military and now lives in Huntsville.

“Everybody knew him, and I’ve had several say they’d like to shake his hand and fellowship with him,” Binion said. “He wants to mentor to young folks while he’s here.”

The program will also feature ministers and other community leaders giving short presentations, Binion said.

Those participating in the parade should line up at noon in the parking lot of the Fred’s shopping center, at the intersection of Third Avenue North and Fourth Street.

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 the park.

The Jefferson Davis High School Marching Band will participate in the parade.

Binion said the festivities surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day are important because they remind people, especially the younger generation, of King’s efforts and his vision.

“We can’t just take it for granted that everything is fine,” Binion said. “We are fighting inequality and injustice. We just want to be treated fair in America.”

Also, a gospel singing in honor of King will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at the West End Head Start building.

Binion said anyone interested in participating is welcome.

“If you can sing, you come on and hit a note,” he said.

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