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MLK Celebrations Set for Saturday in Weho, L.A.

The annual Kingdom Day Parade is the largest event in Southern California, and the House of Blues hosts an artistic tribute to the slain civil rights icon.

The 28th annual Kingdom Day Parade will be held in South Los Angeles on Saturday under the theme "His Dream Will Never Die" and with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp serving as celebrity grand marshal.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances will also be held Saturday in West Hollywood, Culver City, Inglewood, Long Beach and Santa Monica.

The International House of Blues Foundation's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, "Inspired by His Words, The Right Side of the World Revolution," will be held at the House of Blues-Sunset Strip in West Hollywood from 10-11:30 a.m. It will feature, music, dance and visual art presentations by students and a special guest speaker.

The program will include performances by the Lula Washington African Dance and Drum Ensemble, Heart of Los Angeles Music Ensemble, Bancroft Middle School Performing Arts Dance Academy and the Kid City South Park Big Band.

In South L.A., Southern California's largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance will begin at 10:15 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, head west on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard, then south to Vernon Avenue, concluding at Leimert Park.

Several former Dodgers will also be participating in the parade, including Maury Wills, who will be riding in the Dodger fire truck.

The parade will also feature an effort by Donate Life California to promote organ and tissue donation in Los Angeles' black and multi-cultural communities. Transplant recipients, donor family members and living donors will be aboard a decorated double-decker bus themed "Get Onboard Donate Life."

The parade is traditionally held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day but is being held two days earlier to avoid conflict with Monday's inauguration of President Barack Obama for a second term.

Inglewood's 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will be held at Crozier Middle School. A commemorative service starting at 9 a.m.—"Keeping the Dream Alive: Past and Future"—will feature performances by local choirs and community groups and speeches from the citywide Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speech contest. A family festival with entertainment and interactive games will begin at 11 a.m.

Santa Monica's 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration will begin at 10 a.m. at the SGI Auditorium and feature a multi-ethnic interfaith program with readings, speakers, music, dance, singing and the MLK Education Awards. It will be followed at noon by a Community Involvement Fair at the nearby SGI Youth Center.

The 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Unity Parade Celebration in Long Beach will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street, then proceed north on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, east on 19th Street and north on Lemon Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Park, where a carnival and health fair will begin at noon.

Culver City's  eighth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will be held at the Culver City Senior Center from noon-5:30 p.m. Its theme is "Realizing the Dream, Living the Legacy."

Civil rights activist James Lawson, who worked alongside King, will deliver the keynote address at 1 p.m. The celebration will also include speeches by winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. student speech contest at 2:10 p.m., a screening of the documentary "MLK: The Assassination Tapes," at 3 p.m. and a panel discussion at 3:50 p.m.

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