Murrieta’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade set for Monday
By Shane Newell
The guys at Rico’s Barber Shop and Styles in Murrieta celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day last year by reading speeches and poems, enjoying a meal and listening to the “I Have A Dream” speech.
At the time, owner Charles Washington thought about expanding the celebration in 2018. Washington got encouragement from former Mayor Rick Gibbs and began planning for what organizers are calling Murrieta’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.
It will be one of the few large King events scheduled in southwest Riverside County. In Murrieta, about 6 percent of the city’s population identified as black, according to the city.
The parade will be hosted by Washington and his nonprofit group, the Inland Empire Men’s Club, at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15.
“This is to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King and keep his dream alive,” Washington said.
“His dream wasn’t about black or white — it was about intolerance and people in general,” he added.
Inside his office, adorned with two Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers posters, the Alabama native said proceeds generated from entry fees and a banquet on Saturday, Jan. 13, will help the nonprofit give scholarships to students.
Washington said the parade has been getting a lot of support in the community. He said one of King’s messages that has resonated with him is about equality.
“Justice is not for any particular race,” Washington said. “It’s for everybody.”
The parade will begin at the corner of B Street and Washington Avenue before moving to the Murrieta Senior Center and around Town Square Park. B Street will be closed during the parade, which will include a motorcycle group, band and vehicles.
Fellow Murrieta resident Rickey Marlowe, who serves as secretary and treasurer for Inland Empire Men’s Club, said he’s excited.
“It’s something we feel like we have to do,” he said.