IT’S OFFICIAL: MLK Parade rescheduled for Sunday afternoon

Published 9:49 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Natchez’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade has been — officially — rescheduled to take place on Sunday afternoon.

The parade had been rescheduled from Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15, when freezing cold temperatures thwarted plans.

Officials at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting said that plans to reset the parade for Sunday had been made and advertised on social media before it had been discussed with the Natchez Police Department, Fire Department or Public Works, who would be responsible for safety and clean up during and after the event.

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“I spoke with Ms. Marsaw (parade organizer) and told her I don’t do business through Facebook,” said Natchez Police Chief Cal Green Tuesday.

However, Mayor Dan Gibson said a meeting with parade organizers and city officials Wednesday morning quickly sorted out the confusion.

“The parade is a go,” he announced. “The last thing we want is to miss out on celebrating this important event. I’m looking forward, as always, to participating.”

Retired educator Leola Harris and Chief Green are co-grand marshals for the 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade.

The lineup will begin at 2 p.m. on North Broadway Street for the parade to start marching and rolling at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, in downtown Natchez.

The parade route will begin at North Broadway and Franklin streets and will travel along Franklin to North Dr. Martin Luther 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.

“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 Dr. King, several people will be recognized for their work in the struggle for civil rights.

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.

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