MLK Jr. Day Parade cancelled in Vallejo

January 17, 2009 2:18:08 PM PST
The traditional celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is still scheduled Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, but the annual parade in Vallejo has been canceled.

The Vallejo Chapter of the NAACP decided not to hold the annual parade this year to instead concentrate public attention to the historic swearing in Tuesday of Barack Obama, the country's first black president, the day after the holiday.

It's the first time the parade will not be held since it began in 1982, the NAACP said.

Vallejo public school students will have an opportunity to watch the historic inaugural events during their classes Tuesday through streaming live video or on cable television, said Jason Hodge, spokesman for the Vallejo City Unified School District.

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will take place as scheduled in Santa Rosa.

Sponsored by the Community Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, Sunday's events include a film about the civil rights movement at 5 p.m. before the main program begins an hour later.

The keynote speaker this year is Sacramento Fire Chief Ray Jones. Multi-cultural performances include trio Nuevo Amanecer, The Celebration Mass Choir, ballroom dancers, 'DNS' hip-Hop, Kaysha & Kyra Duncan and oratories by middle and high school students. An awards presentation for children's art and oratories will follow.

The event is at 50 Mark West Springs Road off U.S. Highway 101.

The Community Baptist Church will hold its annual "A Day On Not A Day Off" on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event at the Community Baptist Church at 1620 Sonoma Ave. in Santa Rosa focuses on health and well being.