Newnan's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration kicks off tonight


Members of Zion Hill Baptist Church wave from their float in the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in downtown Newnan last January. The 2013 parade will be held Saturday at noon.

Coweta County’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. kicks off tonight with the memorial program at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Newnan.
The celebration continues with the 26th annual parade, which will begin at noon Saturday at Newnan High School. The parade will leave NHS and head up LaGrange Street to downtown Newnan. The parade will then travel Jackson Street (against the usual flow of traffic) and end at Willie Lynch Park on Wesley Street.
The event is hosted each year by Newnan Chapter 483 Order of the Eastern Star.
After the parade, everyone is invited to Newnan High School for refreshments. Bare Mouth Barbecue will be helping prepare the food, and Georgia Power will help serve, said Margaret Thompson, event chairwoman.
Organizations wishing to participate in the parade can show up at Newnan High School Saturday morning. Floats to be judged must be lined up by 9:30 a.m. Everyone else should arrive on Armory Road by 10 a.m. at the latest. The parade entry fee is $25.

This year’s theme is “Standing Firm, Holding Fast, Projecting the Keys of Service.”

This year’s grand marshals will be three students, the winners of an essay contest. Students were asked to write about what King’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to them. It’s the 50th anniversary of the speech.

All the essay contest participants are invited to tonight’s memorial program. They will be introduced and the winners announced.

The winners will be asked to speak briefly about their essays.

The program, which begins at 7 p.m., will also feature speakers and several praise dancers. The church is located at 87 Pinson St. in Newnan.

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