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King parade meets history
Obama inauguration melds with Boro event
011909  MLK PARADE 01 web
Timothy Taylor, 5, left, and Damarrion Roberts, 4, represent Loves Child Care as they make their way down Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. during Monday's Observance Day parade. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    On the eve of the historic inauguration of America's first black president, Bulloch County residents lined the streets of downtown Statesboro Monday for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, honoring the slain civil rights leader.
    "It's a great time for all Americans," said Danielle Spann, who watched the parade after participating in it for several years. "A real change has come and is coming for America and the parade for Dr. King today symbolizes that change."
    With temperatures in the mid-50s and under an overcast sky, the 2009 King Parade began with its 88 entries at the corner of North Main Street and Northside Drive. It moved down North Main, turned right onto West Main Street and then took another right on Martin Luther king Jr. Boulevard before finishing in Louetta Moore Park.
    Pearl Brown, president of the Bulloch County Chapter of the NAACP, said she thought Monday's parade was the best attended in her memory.
    "I'm so excited to see so many honoring Dr. King," Brown said. "We are a diverse nation and I think we all see that now more than ever. We are all looking to the future with great hopes."
    For 20-year-old Nicole Mercer, Monday's parade helped her look back and also forward.
    "It seems a lot of Dr. King's dream he spoke about in 1963 is coming true now with Barack Obama becoming the first black president," said Mercer, who participated in the MLK Parade for four years as a member of the Statesboro High Band.
    Patricia Daniels, who came to the parade with her sister, said she felt "really, really good about being here watching the parade. It just feels so right and so historic for our country."
     Hundreds of people made up the 88 entries in the parade riding on floats, in cars and trucks, walking with church groups and day care centers and even a motorcycle entry.
    "It's a lot of fun to watch the parade," said Patricia Taylor of Brooklet, who said she has been to every MLK parade in Statesboro. "And this year certainly is special. Perhaps more special than others with our new president about to be sworn in."
    The parade was broadcast live on the Statesboro Herald Web site and a video of the entire parade can be seen now on
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