Mayor Sheila Dixon, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the Baltimore Community Relations Commission announce the ninth annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, presented by Forman Mills. On Jan. 19 at 12 p.m., join the city of Baltimore in honoring the remarkable life of the historic civil rights activist as well as the centennial of history’s most prominent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The event steps off at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Street, proceeds south on Martin Luther King Boulevard and disbands on Baltimore Street. Visitors can see spectacular views of the festivities near the reviewing stand, located at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Franklin Street. The parade is produced by Mayor Sheila Dixon, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, and the Baltimore Community Relations Commission. The parade is sponsored by Forman Mills and sponsored in part by XOHM, UnitedHealthcare, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Verizon Wireless, The Home Store, Fox 45/ The CW Baltimore, The Afro-American Newspapers, The Baltimore Times, Radio One (92Q, Magic 95.9, Spirit 1400, WOLB 1010) and in-kind support from Lexington Market Management.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade features schools, organizations and community groups that strive to keep Dr. King’s dream and legacy alive. The annual parade continues to commemorate the lasting contributions of the iconic human rights activist, minister and orator. In addition, the current and past presidents from the NAACP Baltimore City Branch will be on-hand to celebrate the 100th year of the organization.
This year’s participants include Mayor Sheila Dixon, high school and community marching bands, local cultural organizations and churches, floats, equestrian units and an assortment of festive units. High school and community bands include the entertaining Baltimore City Public Schools All-City Marching Band, Baltimore Freedom Fighter Band, Dream Nation Marching Unit, The Baltimore Westsiders, The Baltimore Rockers Marching Band, Inc., N-Full Motion Marching “Stallions” Band, The Edmonson Village Steppers, The Marching Elite Foundation, Christian Rockers Marching Band, James D. Gross Recreation Center City-Wide Marching Band, and the Baltimore Officials Marching Band.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Delta Lambda Chapter, The Greater Baltimore Urban League, Women in Black, Baltimore, the Enoch Pratt Library, Civic Works and additional esteemed organizations are featured this year.
Equestrian units include Baltimore City Mounted Police, the Buffalo Soldiers, City Ranch, Inc., Millennium Cowboys, and The Zydeco Cowboyz. Other exciting participants are Shiftn Steel Sport Riderz, Shake and Bake Rollers, Baltimore County Corvette Club, Baltimore County Fire Department Honor Guard, A Can Can Make A Difference float and many more!
The NAACP, founded in 1909, is the nation’s oldest pre-eminent civil rights organization. The association has more than 600,000 active members internationally with over 200 college chapters, 500 youth councils and 1700 adult branches in Europe and Asia. Recently, the ground-breaking organization has implemented new initiatives and programs aimed at eliminating economic and social disparities. Festivities for the NAACP Centennial Celebration begin Feb. 20.