Vehicle Parade to honor MLK Jr. January 18

A vehicle parade will substitute for the traditional foot parade Monday, Jan. 18, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Divided We Fall, United We Stand” is the theme of the annual parade, sponsored by Let Us Breathe. The parade normally involves people walking across the MLK Jr. bridge in east Abilene. This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, participants are asked to gather at 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Abilene Convention Center, 1100 N. Sixth St. Local artists will be available to decorate car windows.

The in-car parade to Stevenson Park, 441 E.N. Seventh St., will begin at 1:30. Guest speakers will address the crowd at Stevenson Park. Scheduled to speak are Mayor Anthony Williams, Abilene Police Chief Marcus Dudley, and the Rev. Matthew Lubin, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church.

Under normal circumstances, the annual parade would be followed by a banquet in the evening sponsored by the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce. That event was canceled for this year. The march across MLK Jr. bridge was started by the late Claudie C. Royals, a community civil rights activist. It has been carried on by Royals’ son, Michael T. Royals, and his family. The family decided to cancel the parade this year due to COVID.

Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, April 4, 1968. He was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Top image credit: US Mission Geneva on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

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