Parades scheduled for MLK Day

SNELLVILLE -- The Rev. Jeremiah Collins thinks it is fitting that the day the first black president is sworn into his second term is the day set aside to celebrate the leader of the civil rights movement.

"Dr. (Martin Luther) King had a dream that this someday would happen," Collins said.

He had hopes to plan Snellville's second MLK Day celebration in time to allow people to watch Barack Obama's second inaugural address, but Collins said the interest has grown so much that he isn't sure all the speeches will be complete by then.

"It's amazing. It's a pleasant surprise," Collins said of the enthusiasm, which could quadruple the crowd.

Two marching bands will participate in the 11 a.m. parade from Collins' New Jerasulem Baptist Church on Dogwood Road to City Hall.

Performances and speeches will continue once the crowd reaches the city center, he said.

"It shows unity in the community," Collins said, adding that he hopes to stop the discord on the City Council and within the city. "Hopefully a day like this will allow us to put their differences aside."

At 10 a.m., the annual United Ebony Society parade will travel through Lawrenceville.

There, participants are expected to take a longer trek, extending the route from the city square to Moore Middle School.

The festivities will begin this afternoon with a 3:30 p.m. program at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross.

For more information, go to www.gwinnettmlkparade.com.