The county chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host its 12th annual parade and performance program in McDonough.
The parade, which will include elected officials, local businesses and schools, will begin Monday at 10 a.m. at the Henry County Performing Arts Center at 37 Lemon St.
It will wind through the Square and back to the center, where attendees can enjoy singing and dancing performances, guest speakers and a band.
Parade Coordinator LaSonji Rivers said about 800 participants came out during last year’s parade and she expects to see about 1,000 residents this year.
“We always have a good number of participants and each year it grows. Many people in the community, including our commissioners and elected officials participate.” she said.
Rivers said her experiences helping with the parade reminds her of why the holiday is special.
“I participated in celebrations to honor Dr. King when I was in school and at the time, his children would come and watch our performances, which was very exciting. Now, I’m involved in coordinating an event and I like the fact that we’re able to keep his dream alive by getting together and teaching others his message of love and nonviolence,” she said.
Tuesday at 4:15 p.m., children can head to the Fairview Public Library at 28 Austin Road in Stockbridge to watch a film about the civil rights movement and participate in a King-inspired scavenger hunt.
The event will be repeated the following Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 4:15 p.m.
It is open to any school-age child who would like to participate.
Prizes, including a set of books, will be given out after the film and scavenger hunt.
Young Adult Library Specialist Andrea Faulk said, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the library, children can keep learning about the civil rights movement and King’s important role in history.
“I think this holiday is so important because it ensures the Dr. King’s legacy will live on through us and our youth.” she said.