Parades will be held in Long Beach and Gardena Saturday to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., while other observances will take place in Culver City, Lancaster, Pasadena, West Hollywood and at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

The 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Unity Parade Celebration in Long Beach will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street, proceed north on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, east on 19th Street and north on Lemon Avenue.

The grandstand area is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue at 16th Street. The theme is “From Poverty to Prosperity.”

Free parking will be available at Long Beach City College, with free shuttle buses to the parade route operating from 8-10 a.m.

A celebration will follow at Martin Luther King Jr. Park from 12:30-5 p.m. It will include music, a Health Pavilion with free health screenings, areas for children and teenagers, dance performances, arts and crafts booths, and a hawk exhibit.

Gardena’s 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Marine and Van Ness avenues, then head north on Van Ness Ness Avenue to Rowley Park. Rap artist and actress Yo-Yo will be the grand marshal, and former Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, will be the community grand marshal.

The Pasadena Unified School District will commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with campus beautification, landscaping and planting projects at Washington STEM Magnet Academy from 8 a.m. to noon.

West Hollywood will conduct a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at West Hollywood Elementary School from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with volunteers sought for a six-hour shift of landscaping, clean-up, painting and other beautifying tasks. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Advanced registration is required by calling (323) 848-6885 or by email at

Donations of non-perishable food items to benefit the SOVA Food and Community Resource Program and new and used clothing and shoes to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center can be made curbside at the school from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

A Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Forum will be held at the California Science Center from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and include a stage production based on King’s speeches and messages.

Culver City’s 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Culver City Senior Center, with the theme of “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Planned activities include a discussion, with former Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Santa Monica, and former Los Angeles City Councilman Robert Farrell among the panelists, and a 2 p.m. screening of the documentary “Freedom Summer.”

Lancaster’s eighth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will encompass projects at Eastside Elementary School, the Southeast Transit Village, American Heroes Park and Elm Avenue Community Garden.

City News Service

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