Kingdom Day Parade Spotlights King’s Anti-Poverty Efforts

Photos by Walter Melton and Susan Fitzpatrick

Thousands of people lined the streets of South Los Angeles Monday for the 27th annual Kingdom Day Parade, Southern California’s largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance.

The parade began at 11 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue and headed west on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard, then south to Vernon Avenue, concluding at Leimert Park.

The parade featured 30 marching groups, 20 floats, 17 drill teams, 16 marching bands, seven color guard teams and three dance groups.

One of the floats was the “Occupy King’s Dream” float, honoring Martin Luther King’s attempts to end poverty. The Community Coalition was an organizer of that float.

The Rev. Hae Hak Lee, a South Korean Presbyterian minister, was the parade’s international grand marshal. Second District Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was grand marshal of the parade. Ridley-Thomas of the executive executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles for 10 years. Dr. King was the SCLC first national president.

Organizers said this year’s parade was a bit smaller this year, and some parade-goers say it lacked the spark of previous years.

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