Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade slated for Monday, Jan. 15

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Retired educator Leola Harris and Natchez Police Chief Cal Green will serve as co-grand marshals for the 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. The Parade will take place at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, in downtown Natchez.

“This will be an exciting event and a great way to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Jacqueline Marsaw, who chairs the parade committee. “We will have a broad range of participation by individuals and by many different groups. We invite everybody to come out and be part of this important event.”

In addition to King, several people will be recognized for their work in the struggle for civil rights.

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Marsaw said the honorees include U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.); Philip West, former mayor of Natchez; Barney J. Schoby, the first black elected to serve on the Adams County Board of Supervisors; and the late Rev. Leon Howard.

“We want to honor those who fought for civil rights,” Marsaw said, adding their work should never be forgotten.

The parade is sponsored by The Natchez Branch of the NAACP. It is an annual event held for the entire Mis-Lou community.

Marsaw said the parade route will be the same as in 2023 and previous years, beginning with the lineup for the parade at 2 p.m. on Broadway Street.

The parade route will begin at North Broadway and Franklin Streets and will travel along Franklin to N. Dr. M.L. King St., where it will turn left and proceed up to Minor Street, where it will end.

After the parade, trophy presentations will be given at the corner of Dr. M.L. King and High Streets for the best float, the baddest vehicle, bands and dance groups.

Both the float contest and vehicle contest will have first- through fifth-place awards presented, Marsaw said.

The deadline for registration to participate in the parade is Monday, Jan. 10.

In a flyer distributed for promotion, Marsaw said that certain groups that participate are asked to donate $50 “for unlimited entries.”

These groups include churches, civic organizations, sororities, fraternities, Mardi Gras krewes, clubs and businesses, among others.

Motorcycle participants are asked to contact Lee Ford via Marsaw at 601-443-1350. Other entry fees include $10 for a single car or truck. The fee for horses is $5 per horse.

Marsaw said there is no cost or entry fee for the groups that provide entertainment for the parade. These groups include bands, the ROTC, and dance teams.

Anyone desiring to make a donation or pay an entry fee is asked to make all checks payable to the Natchez Branch NAACP and send them to Natchez Branch NAACP, P.O. Box 733, Natchez, MS 39120.

For more information on the parade, call Chairperson Jacqueline Marsaw at 601-443-1350.