By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

PALESTINE – The Concerned Citizens Action Group of Anderson County, Inc., is gearing up to host its annual Martin Luther King Day event consisting of a parade through the downtown streets and a program at the Palestine Civic Center.

According to Concerned Citizens Action Group President Vickey Chivers, the festivities are set to kick off Monday, Jan. 15.

“Our theme is ‘The Unity of Color,’” explained Chivers. “We will have guest speakers, and we’ll be honoring different people from the community.”

Chivers said that all activities, including food, will be provided free of charge to anyone wishing to attend the celebration.

Karla J. Aghedo

“We’re just going to have fun and fellowship,” she said. “We just want to acknowledge this day, Martin Luther King Day.”

Chivers described the late Dr. King as “a visionary who saw things from a different perspective,” footsteps in which the Concerned Citizens Group is “striving” to follow throughout its endeavors.

“It’s going to be a big celebration, and we hope it can grow bigger every year,” she said of the event. “Everyone is invited.”

The morning will begin with a parade through the streets of downtown, starting at the Anderson County Courthouse at 10 a.m. According to parade coordinator Diane Davis, entries are still being accepted.

“There’s not really a deadline, but I would like to know by Sunday evening,” she said. “But they can also just show up Monday.”

Davis added that all entrants who have not notified her by Sunday will not be eligible to compete for the first-place award of $200 and a trophy.

“They can start lining up at 8:30,” she said. “We’ll start (registration) at nine; they can come to my table. I’ll be on the south side of the courthouse.”

In addition to the top prize, a second-place award of $100 and a trophy and a third prize of $75 and a trophy will be given.

“We’re going to go down Avenue A and take a right on Main Street,” said Davis when asked to describe the parade route. “We’ll end at the Farmers’ Market.”

Davis said a church van will likely be available to transport parade entrants back to the courthouse if the need arises.

For more information or to enter the parade, contact Davis at 903-922-9738.

Following the parade, the program at the civic center – located at 1819 W. Spring St. – will begin at 11 a.m. Featured during the program will be a proclamation from the City of Palestine and a keynote address given by Karla J. Aghedo, former Anderson County District Attorney and current senior associate with Hogan Lovells of Houston.

Also taking place during the program will be the annual balloon launch in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

According to Chivers, the event is sponsored by the Palestine Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Anderson County Texas Democratic Women, the Anderson County Negro Historical Preservation Society, Pride of Palestine Order of the Eastern Star and the Palestine High School Class of 1973.

For more information, contact Chivers at (903)-391-3768.Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.