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Watson: MLK Jr. Day events announced

Every year the Alabama Democratic Conference Brewton Precinct commemorates Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with activities and a parade. Brewton City Councilman, Joe Watson has been involved in this event for many years.
The weekend celebration will begin on Saturday, Jan. 17, at noon with a parade. This year the theme of the parade is “Don’t Forget the Dream” based on one of Martin Luther King’s most memorable speeches.
Watson said the parade route is a little bit different this year, beginning at Zion Fountain A.M.E. Church on the corner of McLellan Street and Sowell Road and continue to the John L. Fisher Community Center on Liles Blvd. Venders will be set up at the old middle school ground and space is still available.
They will also be selling food and crafts. A booth is $25 and applications are available from Joe Watson by calling 867-4063.
“We have some floats, walkers, and local motorcycles in the parade,” Watson said. “So far we are still trying to get a band to participate. The ones we have asked tell us they have prior commitments, but I don’t see why we can’t get at least one local band. It wouldn’t take up much time out of their day. We are asking the community and surrounding area to come out and help celebrate the historical occasion. All churches, organizations and groups are requested to participate. I would hope that everyone could come together in unity and support this event.
“We are a small town where everyone knows everybody else,” he added. “We all need to work together.”
The celebration will continue on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 4 p.m. at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, located on Ridge Road. The speaker will be Brother Richard Benjamin.
Watson was born and raised in Monroe County. His father worked for T.R. Miller and when the branch in Monroeville burned down, his dad was transferred to the Brewton branch.
He attended school in the city system and graduated from T. R. Miller High School. He entered the military and served for the next nine years, getting an education in being a draftsman. He left the military in North Carolina and was hired to work for the city of Wilson, N.C. as a draftsman.
Watson moved back to Brewton when his father got really sick. He went to work with Escambia County as a draftsman with County Engineer John Downing in 1993.
He married Regina Jackson on Dec. 23, 2000 and he became the stepfather of her son, Sammy. who is following in the footsteps of his mother, who is a nurse. She is the director of nurses at the E.R. at D. W. McMillian Hospital.
Joe and Regina adopted a daughter, LaDonna Washington, in 2005 who is a freshman at T.R. Miller High School.
Watson has another job that he enjoys very much. He has worked at WEBJ. local radio station for the past 15 years with gospel programing on Sunday morning. He is in his second term of being Brewton City Councilman for District 4. He is a member of the NAACP and chair trustee at Second Saint Siloam Baptist Church.
“I felt like I wanted to run for the city council to be a voice for the people in my district,” he said.
One thing that he began was to hold a community meeting for those in his district every last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Baptist Hill Baptist Church.
“We discuss the issues and concerns that the people of the district have,” Watson said. “That way we know what is on the minds of those who live there and address the issues.
“I will say this,” he added. “Since Yank Lovelace took on the job of being the mayor, there has been a lot more accomplished, and we are just getting started. We have some good things planned for the future.”