Willie Roaf, Pine Bluff native and National Football League Hall of Fame member, will be a keynote speaker and parade marshall during the 35th annual Original KingFest Celebration.
KingFest activities are scheduled for Jan. 15-21. Roaf will speak at Justice Sunday at 6 p.m. Jan. 20 at Family Church’s Pine Bluff campus, 2309 S. Poplar St. He will also lead the Original KingFest Parade/Marade Monday, Jan. 21, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
“The Original KingFest Celebration honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while promoting interracial cooperation, community service, and an appeal for mentors. All activities are open to the public and there is no charge to participate or attend events,” according to a news release.
The 2019 theme is “From Nonviolence to No-Violence.” Participants are asked to display messages on floats, vehicles, banners and signs related to the theme. Awards will be given for the most provocative banner, poster or float using the parade/marade theme.
Churches, social and civic organizations, youth group, neighborhood watch groups, sororities, fraternities, school bands, businesses, and elected officials are invited to join the parade/marade. The deadline for parade applications is Thursday, Jan. 17. Applications are available at the PBICVR office, 211 W. Third Ave., Suite 109 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center. Also upon request, applications can be obtained by calling Mary Liddell at 870-643-2383, Pelida Norris 870-692-8579 or by email to email@example.com. To volunteer or for details call 870-730-1131 or visit www.pbicvrpenorpencil.com .
Original KingFest Celebration schedule of events include:
Noon — Tuesday, Jan. 15 – PBICVR Original KingFest Celebration Kick-off at the Pine Bluff Country Club with both the Downtown Pine Bluff and West Pine Bluff Rotary Clubs. The speaker will be National Parks Service Superintendent Robin White discussing Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. The meeting is open to the public.
Wednesday, Jan. 16 — Student Pledge against Violence Day at Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel, and Dollarway school districts.
Thursday, Jan. 17 – PBICVR Pen or Pencil MLK Birthday Bash.
6 p.m. — Friday, Jan. 18 – PBICVR Original KingFest Celebration Youth/Young Adult Gospel Extravaganza at New Saint Hurricane Missionary Baptist Church, 3319 S. Ohio St.
Saturday, Jan. 19 – Original KingFest Celebration Youth/Adult Community Service Day in partnership with the city of Pine Bluff.
6 p.m. — Sunday, Jan. 20 - The Justice Sunday Commemoration Program to be held at Family Church, 2309 South Poplar St. Pine Bluff. The speaker will be Willie Roaf, a Pine Bluff native and National Football League Hall of Fame football player.
2 p.m. — Monday, Jan. 21 – KingFest Parade/March beginning with the lineup time at 1 p.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse with Grand Parade Marshal Willie Roaf. A brief youth led educational program for children will be held in the Pine Bluff Convention Center after the parade/marade. The fourth annual MLK/Lorenzo Smith Battle of the Bands will offer a trophy for elementary school children.