KINGSPORT — “There is still work to be done.”
As participants get ready to organize the Kingsport parade that kicks off the local celebration of the national holiday that honors the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., parade organizer Ronnie Collins reflects on where the commemoration has come in recent years.
The 16th annual parade kicks off at noon tomorrow. Participants are asked to organize in the Rikki Rhoton Allstate Insurance Company parking lot on East Sevier Avenue at East Center Street. People are encouraged to march in the parade and show support for King’s memory. The route follows Center Street to Sullivan Street, crosses Broad Street, and culminates with prayer and speeches at City Hall.
Collins said that, although King’s message of nonviolence still resonates with new generations, today’s society is still trying to make progress.
After the parade festivities have concluded, the celebration moves over to the Riverview Community Room on Wheatley Street at 1 p.m. where all are invited to the annual MLK Day Luncheon, sponsored by New Vision Youth.
The day’s events conclude with a memorial candlelight vigil at 6 p.m., also sponsored by New Vision Youth. Everyone is encouraged to bring a candle to the gathering, to be held at the gazebo in Glen Bruce Park, between the Kingsport Public Library and Church Circle downtown. It, too, is free to the public.
See last year's Kingsport MLK Day Celebration in music and pictures below: