MLK Day parade set for SaturdayBy BUSTER WOLFE,
The Concerned Citizens of Lamar County will host the 31st annual Martin Luther King celebration and parade beginning at noon Saturday, Jan. 13, with a memorial service at Spring Chapel Baptist Church of Purvis.
The theme for the program is “Seeking Peace and Goodwill in Times of Trouble,” said Harry Breland, one of the event’s organizers. The featured speaker will be the Rev. Arthur L. Siggers of Mount Olive Baptist Church of Hattiesburg.
The parade will follow the memorial service at 2 p.m. and will feature bands from Jackson Jim Hill, Hattiesburg, Heidelberg and Jefferson Davis County high schools.
Breland said the event will not only honor King, but academic and athletic achievements will be highlighted.
“Part of our thing is to bring the communities together, with Sumrall, Oak Grove, Purvis and Lumberton,” he said. “We recognize some of the people that have done well. We always give plaques out to the schools. As you know, Lamar County has one of the state’s outstanding school districts. So we give that to let them know that education is important and we want them to know that we appreciate their hard work.
“Then we recognize the sports in that program. We do a lot of good stuff to try to motivate people to do good things and to let to the community know that we are proud of them.”
Breland said the Martin Luther King celebration and parade has two purposes.
“We want the program to be educational for the kids, but we also want them to understand that they can do this too,” he said. “We give certificates in a case to two or three kids from each football team and boys and girls basketball teams that have shown citizenship, scholarship and sportsmanship. We want them all to work together because if they can’t get their lessons, then they can’t play.”
Anyone who wants more information on the event can contact Breland at (601) 268-0844 or (601) 297-3489.