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MLK Parade returns to Huntsville after four-year hiatus from pandemic

HUNTSVILLE – Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn’t celebrated officially until Jan. 15, but local events related to honor the civil rights icon begin in advance of the national holiday.

The City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the MLK Youth Basketball Clinic the day before the holiday, and the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha gets an even earlier start with a parade planned for Jan. 13.

The MLK Parade began in 2015, was interrupted by the pandemic after the 2020 event and now makes its return.

The parade will start at noon in downtown Huntsville in Lot K at 620 Clinton Avenue – near the Von Braun Center and across from the Post Office. The route will travel along Holmes Avenue and conclude at the former location of The Lumberyard near the Furniture Factory on Meridian Street.

According to Jared Tarver, president of Delta Theta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the organization is looking forward to the parade’s return.

“I get a lot of good feedback,” he told 256 Today. “We get participation from various band groups, including Alabama A&M University and high schools. We have various organizations, fraternities, the Trash Pandas that are participating as well.

“This is very well-received within the community.”

The parade honors the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. “Keeping the Dream Alive’’ is the theme for the annual parade. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. is the oldest intercollegiate fraternity for African-American men.

Founded on Dec. 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., the mission is, “Alpha Phi Alpha develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.”

The Delta Theta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha was established on April 13, 1948 in Huntsville.


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