Montevallo to celebrate MLK Day

Published 3:38 pm Monday, January 12, 2009

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. often wore down the soles of his shoes marching for racial equality more than half a century ago. Next week, in honor of what would have been the civil rights icon’s 80th birthday, the city of Montevallo will march too.

The city will host its fifth annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration Jan. 19. Opening festivities begin at 10 a.m. at Palmer Hall on the University of Montevallo campus, said coordinator Shirley Dubose.

The kick-off at Palmer Hall will feature the singing of the national anthem as well as the black national anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” Dubose said.

A parade will follow the opening festivities at 11 a.m. The parade route starts in the Montevallo High School parking lot on Main Street, and crosses the Sgt. Robert Farrington Jr. Bridge. The parade will then go onto Selma Road, Quarles Street, Sanford Street and White Street before crossing the Farrington Bridge again.

Dubose said the deadline for parade participants to register is this Friday.

“I’m hoping we’ll have a good turnout,” Dubose said.

MLK Day will conclude with “MLK Message in the Park” at George Dailey Park at noon. The event will feature dancing, singing and recitation of King’s most noteworthy speeches. The event will be broadcast live on WBYE 1370 AM radio.

Guest speaker will be the Rev. W.R. Williams of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montevallo.

The event will also acknowledge the historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, who will take the oath of office Jan. 20, said coordinator Leila Mitchell.

Both Dubose and Mitchell believe MLK Day serves to remind the community of its blessings and freedoms.

“I hope it means unity. That’s what it’s all about,” Dubose said. “It’s all about bringing people together.”

For more information, call Dubose at 665-9045 or Mitchell at 602-1029.