Published : Friday, March 17, 2017 | 3:25 AM
The afternoon celebration is one of the largest and longest-running Black History parades in California and will feature free fun and entertainment for the entire family as the community honors black Americans and their contributions in both the City of Pasadena and throughout the nation.
“We want to thank the public for their patience as we have had to reschedule our famous Black History Month Parade. It is now going to be on Saturday, March 18. We encourage everyone to come out and to enjoy this parade that we’ve been doing for the last 35 years. Pasadena is very proud of its black history month parade and we hope to see everyone there,” said City of Pasadena Public Information Officer William Boyer.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Charles White Park, Fair Oaks Avenue and Ventura Street in Altadena; then heads south on Fair Oaks Avenue before ending at Pasadena’s Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., where the festival takes place from 12-4 p.m. on the north side of the park on Hammond Street.
More than 80 entries will be featured in the parade, with participants traveling from as far as Bakersfield and San Diego.
Featured acts include the Wilson Middle School Marching Band, New Buffalo Soldiers, local dance and drill teams, car and motorcycle clubs, musicians, community dignitaries and City officials that will join together to celebrate this year’s theme “Footprints in the Past – Stepping Stones to Our Future.”
“The Black History Parade is a tradition in the Pasadena community of long standing recognizing the contributions of African-Americans in the city of Pasadena and across this nation,” said Kennedy.
The Celebrity Grand Marshals for the parade are members of the local rhythm and blues group “Troop.” Community Grand Marshals are centenarians Charles Johnson and Corrie Harris, who are among the oldest known African-Americans residing in the Pasadena area.
Other parade honorees are late Pasadena community volunteer Pearline Johnson; longtime community activist and volunteer Clara Johnson; management executive, psychology professor and “Little Rock Nine” member Terrence Roberts, Ph.D.; youth advocate and motivational speaker Brandon Lamar; Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald, Ed.D.; and Raymond Ealy, founder of STEAM:CODERS, a nonprofit organization that teaches students of color the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, art and math.
“It is an upbeat positive story, with all people of goodwill celebrating the extraordinary ongoing contributions of African Americans in building Pasadena and the unique fabric and interconnectedness we call the United States of America. The parade benefits the entire Greater Pasadena Community as we embrace the belief that we are one city, neighbor looking out for the best interest of neighbor,” said District 3 Councilmember John Kennedy.
The festival begins immediately after the parade and concludes at 4 p.m. Live entertainment will be provided for both adults and children, including performances by the famous Philadelphia soul group The Delfonics. The festival also features for-sale food by vendors and free information booths.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to navigate around street closures, find parking and claim their favorite viewing spots along the parade route. Free parking will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis at Calvary Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 135 Glorieta St., Pasadena.
The following streets will be closed for the parade and festival at the times listed below. Motorists are advised to use caution while driving through the area.
• Hammond Street, between Morton Avenue and Fair Oaks Avenue, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Fair Oaks Avenue, between Woodbury Road and Mountain Street, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Mountain Street, between Raymond Avenue and Morton Avenue, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Morton Avenue, between Glorieta Street and Hammond Street, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.