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Join the birthday party

January 11, 2007

If alive today, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., would be turning 78 on Monday and might still be marching for peace, albeit on ever-creakier knees. Or perhaps he would leave the actual marching up to the younger folks, who make up the bulk of the Kingdom Day Parade, starting at 11 a.m. The celebration culminates at L.A.'s Leimert Park, which turns carnivalesque with face-painters, pony rides and yummy cuisine from local vendors. Across town, one of the largest celebrations of King's legacy presents the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, as the keynote speaker, plus inspirational readings and music.

* Kingdom Day Parade begins at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, proceeds to Crenshaw Boulevard and marches to Leimert Park. 11 a.m. Monday. Free. (213) 624-7300.

* Leimert Park Birthday Celebration, 43rd Place and Crenshaw Boulevard, L.A. 1 p.m. Monday. Free. (213) 473-7008.

* Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., SGI Inc. World Culture Center auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. 9 a.m. Free. (310) 434-4003.

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