LONG BEACH (CNS) - The 31st annual Martin Luther King. Jr. Parade and Celebration will be held in Long Beach Saturday with the theme “Walking the Talk,” honoring individuals and organizations that take social, environmental and human rights in consideration in their daily actions.
The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street.
The grand marshals are:
-- Press-Telegram columnist Rich Archbold, a retreat team leader with Leadership Long Beach's The Institute, a 10-month program that seeks to have community leaders discover how to make Long Beach a better city;
-- Mauna Eichner and Lee Fukui, residents of Long Beach's Wrigley neighborhood involved in environmental volunteer efforts;
-- Long Beach Fire Department Engineer Philip Gonsal, who oversees two youth programs;
-- Adam Hijazi & the board of the Long Beach Collective Association, a nonprofit cannabis trade association that works closely with Long Beach's Department of Health and Human Services and various community organizations to ensure public safety, cannabis education and a non-invasive environment for residents;
-- The Port of Long Beach, honored for its grants, sponsorships and education outreach intended to make Long Beach a better place to live and work; and
-- Naomi Rainey-Pierson, president of the Long Beach Branch of the NAACP.
“We need to give credit where credit is due and this year's honorees have proven to give back to the community,” Long Beach Vice Mayor Dee Andrews said.
An open-air celebration with live entertainment, food and merchandise will follow the parade from noon-5 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District will honor King's legacy with its sixth annual MLK Day of Service Forum from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park. State Sen. Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, will be the keynote speaker
Other events planned for Saturday to honor the slain civil rights leader include a community cleanup at Hyde Park from 9 a.m.-noon, and Culver City's Celebration of King from noon-3 p.m. at the Culver City Senior Center with actor Gerald C. Rivers performing a speech by King and a spoken word performance by the Youth Leadership Workshop.