Parade, celebration mark local King events
By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Jan. 20, 2002
For three years Linda Wilson-Jones of Meridian has coordinated the city's Martin Luther King Day parade.
It all started in 1999 when she was watching coverage of parades on television in various cities. "I wondered why we weren't doing something like that in Meridian," she said.
She rounded up friends, went to Mayor John Robert Smith for advice on how to organize a parade, and the tradition started.
The parade is scheduled to begin at noon.
The parade's grand marshal is Meridian Police Chief Benny DuBose. Honorary marshals are fire chiefs Jerry Golden of the NAS Meridian Fire Department and H.C. "Bunky" Partridge of the Meridian Fire Department.
Following the parade, a commemoration program will begin at 1 p.m. at Dumont Plaza. Scheduled speakers include Smith; Janet McLin, superintendent of Meridian Public Schools; and Obie Clark, president of the Meridian-Lauderdale chapter of the NAACP.
Also on the program are prayers to be offered by S.L. Thompson of 31st Avenue Missionary Baptist Church; The Rev. Mike Dobrosky of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator; and the Rev. R.L. Steele of New Era Missionary Baptist Church.
Scheduled entertainment includes the W.C. Griffin Singers of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, the Praise Dancers of 5th Street Missionary Baptist Church and the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
Wilson-Jones develops the theme for each parade. This year's theme is "Reclaiming the Dream."
She identifies King as the "drum major" who led the United States to greater heights through love and peace.