That is the reason that the 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, set for Monday in Jonesboro, will be highlighted by children taking part throughout in many aspects and parade features.
This is how Herman Turner of the Elijah Summit Lodge 309, and representatives of the Ladies of the Eastern Star Electra Special Chapter 109, sponsors of the parade, perceive this final event surrounding MLK’s birthday celebration in Clayton County this year.
“We are pleased to have many children taking part in the parade,” Turner said.
“It will be on their shoulders to keep Dr. King’s memory and dream alive for the young people who, like our young people now, have only read about the Human Rights movement and Dr. King’s impact on civil and human rights,” he added.
The parade will step off at 10 a.m. Monday at Rum Creek Recreation Park off Government Circle in Jonesboro.
Turner said the parade will then proceed down Main Street in Jonesboro and conclude in the front of the historic Clayton County Courthouse, diagonally across from the Road to Tara Museum.
“We are looking to have at least four marching bands taking part and more than 10 churches,” Turner said, adding that most of the schools in Clayton County will participate.
“We also plan to have children’s dancing groups, boys and girl’s scouting units and other school groups,” Turner said.
This is the first MLK Day Parade in Jonesboro which will not carry a specific theme.
“This year, it is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade,” Turner said.
The grand marshal for the parade, he added, is Craig Mitchell, the grand master of the Most Worshipful Smooth Ashlar Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Ancient York Rite Mason Prince Hall Origin Compact Jurisdiction of Georgia.
Turner said that by taking part in the parade, many children who have only read about MLK will understand his dream.
“Each year, we have new, young participants who are eager to take part and we welcome them,” Turner said.