Martin Luther King Jr
Rev. Martin Luther King during a press conference on Nov. 6 1964. Photo credit: Dick DeMarsico/World Telegram & Sun/Public Domain

The 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace & Unity Parade and Celebration will be held Saturday in Long Beach, while other observances marking the anniversary of the birth of the slain civil rights leader are planned for West Hollywood and Westwood.

The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street. Its theme is “Love & Forgiveness.” The parade has 85 entries, according to Councilman Dee Andrews.

Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, Long Beach Fire Department Chief Mike DuRee and Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud are among the grand marshals. A celebration will follow from noon-5 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Klymaxx featuring Cheryl Coolie will be the featured musical performer.

A day of service will be held in West Hollywood, with volunteers needed to perform various beautifying tasks at West Hollywood Elementary School, including landscaping and painting, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Physical labor is required. Volunteers will work for a six-hour shift and receive lunch and a commemorative T-shirt. Registration is required and can be made by emailing or calling (323) 848-6885.

Volunteers will also be collecting non-perishable food items to benefit the SOVA Food and Community Resource Program, and new and used clothing and shoes for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the school.

The eighth annual Dream Games will be held at the Westwood Sports Complex beginning at 9:30 a.m., with a speaking ceremony set for 12:30 p.m.

Children from eight Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facilities will play basketball on combined teams in an effort to learn that differences in ethnic heritage, socioeconomics, and religious beliefs all disappear once games begin, according to department General Manager Michael A. Shull.

—City News Service

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