Pasadena residents, marching bands and drill teams marched down Fair Oaks Avenue on a beautiful sunny day Saturday for the 32nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival.

Pasadena residents, marching bands and drill teams marched down Fair Oaks Avenue on a beautiful sunny day Saturday for the 32nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival.

Victoria de la Torre/Courier

Hosted by The Black History Parade and Festival Planning Committee and the City of Pasadena Jackie Robinson Community Center, the theme for this year’s parade was, “Black History: A Legacy for the Present and our Future”.

This year, the parade featured 77 entries, including musicians, dancers, equestrians, local youth groups, dignitaries and community leaders. The parade included two Grand Marshals this year: Gary Moody, community activist and president of the NAACP Pasadena Branch, and Shirlette Butler-Elder, childcare advocate and director of Butler-Elder Family Child Care.

The annual parade also saw its share of Lancers as the Pasadena City College Band and Herald Trumpeters took part in the festivities, as did Gena Lopez, director of PCC’s Ujima Program along with her students.

“I think the PCC band stole the show,” parade goer and Lancers student Cherice Turner said. “I never knew our band was that good. They really sounded good and I enjoyed the band.”

The annual parade and festival is a major celebration where the Pasadena community recognizes the achievements of African Americans and the contributions they have made throughout the community.

“We wanted to instill hope in our community,” Lopez said. “We wanted to show children that there is a place for them at PCC once they finish school. We wanted to show them that college is an option.”

In her first time participating in the annual parade and festival, Ujima student Kiara Shaw expressed how much she enjoyed participating in the parade and what black history means to her.

“Walking in the parade was fun and different,” Shaw said. “It was great to be able to walk with the Ujima program and come together to celebrate our history.”

Fellow Ujima student Jonathan Reed echoed the same thoughts when asked about his participation in the parade.

“It was very inspiring to me,” Reed said. “To see young African American men and women taking a stand for education and demonstrating what it is to be young, educated and Black was very inspiring. I really enjoyed myself.

The parade began at 10 a.m. at Charles White Park in Altadena and concluded two miles south at Jackie Robinson Park in Pasadena. After the parade, spectators and participants enjoyed food, fun activities for kids, special displays, music and other free entertainment as part of the Black History Festival.

“We’re here to celebrate our history, our heritage and our accomplishments.” Ujima student Erin Bourne added. “It’s a beautiful day to celebrate. It’s always great to see African Americans and the community come together for a good cause.

Comments

  1. I just LOVE this event; because of its title: ANNUAL Black History Parade. It works perfectly for me, because I am SOoooo diverse.

    I had a Korean mother, a black father, was born in the United States and have many ethnic affiliations – causing me to have a VERY busy schedule. Even “I” can take time out to be Black ANNUALLY.

    Leroy

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