On Saturday, January 17, 2009, the City of Inglewood will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day Celebration. This year’s memorial of Dr. King’s legacy will be extremely significant as it is Inglewood’s 26th annual commemoration of the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. Additionally, the 2009 King Day Celebration will be held as Inglewood culminates its 100th birthday celebration. Inglewood was one of the first cities in the nation to designate Dr. King’s Birthday a legal holiday.
The City will kick-off its King Day celebration with a rousing ecumenical service at 9:00 a.m. in The Tabernacle of Faithful Central Bible Church located at 321 N. Eucalyptus Avenue. Immediately following the special service, over a thousand marchers will take to the streets to reenact, in a tribute to Dr. King, the symbolic marches of the 1960’s. The City of Inglewood will continue its celebration with a commemorative family festival on the grounds of Hollywood Park
An exciting line-up of renowned leaders, celebrities and talented groups has teamed up to make this a memorable event. The program will feature an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Kenneth Crowe, pastor of Avalon Church of Christ, and handclapping and toe-tapping entertainment. KTLA Channel 5 newscaster Michaela Pereira will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the program. 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix, Actress/Comedienne Kim Coles (10 Items or Less) and actor Glynn Turman (The Wire) will serve as event grand marshals.
Also featured will be this year’s dynamic winners of the King Day speech contest. The winners will represent four grade categories including the early elementary (K-2); elementary (3-5); middle school (6-8); and high school (9-12) grade levels. The winners in each category will speak on the topic “We have an Opportunity to make America a Better Nation.”
Immediately following the ecumenical service, the City will begin its symbolic march. Highlighting the march will be performances by drill teams, bands and pep squads representing all of Inglewood’s schools and several churches throughout the City.
Marchers will leave The Tabernacle at 11:00 a.m. and will travel south on Eucalyptus Avenue; head east on Regent Street; and south on Prairie Avenue to Hollywood Park where the celebration will continue at the King Day Family Festival. The festival will run from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and include live entertainment, food, arts, crafts, commercial vendors, and interactive games. The City’s King Day Celebration promises an enriching and reflective experience for the entire family.
Free shuttle service will be available for March participants. Individuals participating in the March may park their cars at Hollywood Park Racetrack (Gate 8 – Pincay Drive (90th Street) entrance) prior to the ecumenical service. The shuttle will transport marchers from Hollywood Park to The Tabernacle beginning at 7:45 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
Groups who want to participate in the March should register by calling the City’s Cultural Office at (310) 412-8700. For more information about the King Day Celebration or to obtain a March registration form, contact the Cultural Office or visit the City’s website at www.cityofinglewood.org (Search keyword: MLK).