MLK Parade plans being finalized

Published 5:06 pm Friday, January 6, 2012

A small group of musicians continues to rehearse in preparation for their debut at the annual Martin Luther King Day Parade next weekend.
The parade, an effort of the Brewton chapter of the Alabama Democratic Conference, will be held Jan. 14 beginning at noon.
Joe Watson, one of the organizers for the annual event, said the event is expected to be bigger and better than in years past.
“We have a lot of people who are working on this event to make it a great one for the community,” Watson said. “The members of our community band have been working hard and preparing for the parade.”
A community band was created due to the lack of bands participating in previous events — except those paid to perform.
“We had paid expenses for a band or two to come and be a part of the parade in the past,” Watson said. “We just aren’t able to keep doing that. Since none of the local high school bands participate, we had to look outside Brewton and East Brewton for music for the parade. It’s not something we can continue to do.”
Regina Watson, a member of ADC, is hoping the MLK Day Band will be a hit and become a regular attraction for the parade.
“Year before last we had Hillcrest’s band from Evergreen and a band out of Mobile,” Watson said. “We had tried to work out things to have Hillcrest back last year but that fell through. We had to pay the band from Mobile in order for them to get here for the parade. We also gave a love offering to the Hillcrest band.
Regina Watson said the group has already gotten a commitment from a former band director who has agreed to help lead the volunteer band when one is formed.
“Johnny Hall has stepped up and said he would take care of organizing the group when enough volunteers have stepped up,” Watson said. “He is a former band director and has really good knowledge of music and marching so it’s a natural fit.”
The parade route will be the same as in years past, after the approval was made by members of the Brewton City Council.
Floats, band and marching units for the parade will begin gathering at 11 a.m. behind the main offices of BankTrust on Belleville Avenue. The parade will move across Belleville Avenue along Henderson Street by the Brewton City Park to U.S. 31. A short route on U.S. 31 North will lead the parade to Sowell Road and on to Martin Luther King Avenue where the route will turn toward Sportsman Park.
A variety of events are also planned at Sportsman Park following the conclusion of the parade. Music and food will be on hand for those who wind their way to the park following the parade.
For additional details about the parade, or to join the band, contact Joe Watson at 251-809-5423 or Regina Watson at 251-363-1524.