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franklin county times

Meridian prepares for Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Jan. 5, 2003
Organizers of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration in Meridian hope the event will continue to grow this year in participation and observance.
Plans are under way for the fourth annual local celebration to remember the life and legacy of the slain civil rights activist and Baptist minister. The parade is set to start at noon on Jan. 20.
The Rev. William Cottrell Brown, pastor of Fifth Street Baptist Church, has been named this year's grand marshal of the parade. And he said he is honored to be a part of the celebration.
Brown said King's life has had a great impact on him, particularly because of the late minister's dedication to love and nonviolence.
Brown said love is the most important principle for which King stood, adding that it crosses all racial and cultural backgrounds. He said he hopes that message will be delivered again this month.
Other honorary marshals and participants to be involved with the parade and program will be announced later. This year's theme for the event is: "Teamwork Makes the Dream Work."
The event sponsors are the Dr. Martin Luther King Parade and Celebration Committee, Main Street Meridian, and the city of Meridian.
Linda Wilson-Jones, who started the local parade and celebration, said the event has expanded the appreciation of Dr. King and what he stood for beyond the black community.
She said organizers have tried hard to prevent the celebration from being perceived as a "black celebration."
Over the years, she said, support has increased from individuals and businesses of all races.
Here is a look at plans for the 4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration in Meridian.
The event: The parade lineup starts at 10 a.m. at Meridian Public School District Central Office, 1019 25th Ave.; the parade is expected to roll at noon.
Entry fees: The parade has no entry fee, but participants are asked to make a donation to the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee to cover expenses.