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MLK celebration on Monday
Downtown parade set for 2 p.m.
WEb 011810 MLK PARADE 01
Samone Waters, 14, of Johnson Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Portal celebrated while marching in the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade in downtown Statesboro. This year's parade will kick off at 2 p.m. Monday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

With Monday approaching, communities throughout Bulloch County ready themselves for an annual celebration honoring a civil rights icon.

The Bulloch County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will be the host for a slate of events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, all culminating in the annual parade through downtown Statesboro.

"Martin Luther King Jr. worked for equality for everyone," said Pearl Brown, president of the Bulloch NAACP. "I think that is still important today. I believe all of us have something to offer. It is important that everyone be treated equally and fairly."

Activities will commence with the yearly MLK Prayer Breakfast - hosted this year by St. Matthew Catholic Church off Gentilly Road - Saturday at 7:30 a.m., the Rev. Wayne Williams, pastor of Mt. Zion Outreach Center, will serve as keynote speaker for the morning service.

The 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. parade is set for Monday at 2 p.m. This year's theme, "One Nation - One Dream," is in honor of the military and their contributions, as well as those of the late Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the Rev. Patrick Jones, according to Brown.

"When you look at the military, you see that some of every race is represented," she said. "All of us live in one nation - the United States of America - and our one dream is that all of us have freedom and equality."

As in years past, the parade will start at Olliff and North Main Streets, near the now-closed Kentucky Fried Chicken, and proceed south on Main where it will turn right onto West Main Street. From there, the procession will continue to Martin Luther King Blvd., turn back north and finish at Luetta Moore Park.

Following the parade at about 3 p.m., a Community Service Program will be held at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Bulloch Street. Consuela Ward, director of the Multicultural Student Center at Georgia Southern University, will be the keynote speaker.

"I'm looking forward to the parade," Brown said. "It seems like every year there are more and more things happening that let us know we have to learn to work together. We have to start showing more love for each other. The more we work together - the more inclusive and diversified we are - the better off this country will be."

Parade registration forms may be picked up at, and returned to, Craig R. Tremble and Son's Funeral Home. Forms are due by Saturday so the parade lineup can be formed.

For more information about Monday's events, call NAACP President Pearl H. Brown at 912-839-3321.



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