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King parade's festive vibe

January 12, 2006

If the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had lived, he would be 77 on Sunday. The festivities honoring him are aimed at a younger generation who know the civil rights leader only as a historic figure. The Kingdom Day Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Monday with floats, kicking dancers and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (the grand marshall), Oakland Mayor (and ex-Gov.) Jerry Brown, parade founder Larry Grant and L.A. sculptor Tina Allen. The post-parade celebration continues in Leimert Park with food booths and entertainment, including jazz songstress Barbara Morrison. On the Westside, daughter Yolanda King will be the keynote speaker in a dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium in the new Santa Monica Public Library.

* Martin Luther King Jr. Kingdom Day Parade begins on Martin Luther King Boulevard at Western Avenue, heads west to Crenshaw Boulevard, then south to Vernon Avenue, L.A. 10:30 a.m. Monday. Free. (213) 624-7300.

* Leimert Park Birthday Celebration, 43rd Place and Crenshaw Boulevard, L.A. 2 p.m. Monday. Free. (213) 473-7008.

* Martin Luther King Celebration with Yolanda King, Soka Gakai Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. 9 a.m. Monday, followed by a two-block march to the library for the dedication. Free. (310) 434-4209.

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