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250,000 Expected for Parade Honoring King

January 16, 1994|ERIN J. AUBRY and KIMBERLY PAYTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The National Cultural Foundation is sponsoring the ninth annual Kingdom Day Parade on Monday, one of several events commemorating the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The theme of this year's parade, "The Dream Continues to Live," also reflects parade founder Larry E. Grant's ongoing efforts to commemorate King's birthday, which became a federal holiday in 1986.

With 166 entries, an army of television crews on hand and a crowd of more than 250,000 expected to line King Boulevard from Crenshaw Boulevard to 39th Street, the holiday is not likely to go unnoticed. Entries include 15 floats, 30 drill teams, bands, equestrian groups and celebrities.

"I used to see a lot of young black kids hanging around liquor stores, not going to school, and I wanted to organize something that they could take pride in," said Grant, 68, a retired banker. Though the parade is the largest such event in the West, Grant said it can never get big enough. "Amazingly, a lot of kids today don't know anything about Dr. King," Grant said.

The Kingdom Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards and head east to the Coliseum.

Other holiday events include:

* The ninth annual Martin Luther King Jr. concert at 4:30 p.m. today at St. John's Episcopal Church, 514 W. Adams Blvd. Free. Information: (213) 295-8582.

* A chamber music program at 4 p.m. today at the Leo S. Bing Theatre, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Free. Information: (213) 485-7219.

* A prayer breakfast and bazaar from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at the Bethel AME Church, 7900 S. Western Ave. Admission is $10. Information: (213) 750-3240.

* "The King Dream Now," a two-hour docudrama examining the successes and setbacks of King's dream will be aired on KJLH-FM (102.3) at 9 a.m. Monday. Information: (213) 299-5960.

* A free musical tribute by jazz greats Buddy Collette, Abe Most and Art Davis at 11 a.m. today at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, 2936 W. 8th St. Information: (213) 389-1356.

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