With Kaj Goldberg of the KTLA Weather Team as Celebrity Grand Marshal, Pasadena’s 37th annual Black History Parade blared, danced, waved, marched and rolled down Fair Oaks Avenue from Altadena to Pasadena under sparkling bright blue skies and warming sunshine on Saturday morning.
Hundreds of local students, athletes, civic leaders, educators and other high achievers joined the celebratory march for the largest such parade in Southern California.
Goldberg was supported by Community Marshal Betty Ford and Youth Grand Marshal Rose Princess Ashley Symone Hackett.
Donnetha A. Wallace, teacher and community leader, and Denise Houlemard-Jones, community advocate and businesswoman, rode in the Parade as this year’s Community Service Award winners.
The atmosphere was smiles, laughs and hugs as hundreds of parade participants lined up near Metropolitan Baptist Church in the assembly area.
“For the Culture — Celebrating Our Excellence” was the theme for this year’s festivities. Event coordinator Kenny James, human services and recreation supervisor for the City of Pasadena, said top local representatives from a range of fields will be on hand.
“For The Culture Celebrating Our Excellence means understanding the diversity within the culture from education to entertainment to sports and culinary,” he said. ‘It means that you understand all aspects of that and that they perform at a high level.”What’s new about this year is there will be plenty of representatives on hand from the historical colleges.
Twelve universities were on hand including Howard, Tuskegee and Grambling State.
“But in addition to encouraging young people to talk to the college reps, the day is also about supporting the community and black businesses as well,” said James.
This year’s parade features a range of talented musicians and live entertainment including local rapper Yo Yo and R and B group Troop. Of course, numerous talented local high school bands as well as other musical groups joined the festivities.
Saturday’s may go into the record books as one of the best-attended.
Other featured participants included The Wilson Middle School Drum Corps, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, Buffalo Soldiers, the Pasadena City College Band and Herald Trumpeters, musicians, dancers, equestrians, local youth groups, dignitaries, community leaders, and vintage and custom cars.
Under Sparkling Skies and Warming Sun, Pasadena's Joyful Black History Parade Draws Crowds