• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Kingdom Day Parade goes on despite rain

January 19, 2010 12:12:26 AM PST
A steady rainfall didn't stop crowds from gathering in South Los Angeles Monday morning for the 25th annual Kingdom Day Parade. Umbrellas were a common sight along the parade route this year. Fashion went out the window as people found creative ways to try to stay dry.

"In spite of the rain, we're having a great time getting wet, staying dry for a minute and then getting wet all over again," said Los Angeles resident Bobbie Bullock.

"This day was designed for us so it really doesn't matter. Rain, sleet or snow, you know, they went through all the turmoil for us so we can stand out here in this rain and enjoy it," said Shameka Logan of Los Angeles.

The enthusiastic crowd let the marchers know their performances were hits.

Political leaders, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council members Bernard Parks, Jan Perry and Janice Hahn, along with celebrities, including actress Niecy Nash, braved the stormy weather to take part in the parade honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Eyewitness News anchor Marc Brown served as grand marshal and several other members of the Eyewitness News team greeted the energized crowd.

The parade, featuring marching bands, floats and other entertainment, traveled along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, headed west on King Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard, then south to Vernon Avenue, where it concluded.

By midday even the people who brought their umbrellas were soaked, but the rain didn't seem to wash away their enthusiasm. Many said nothing would stop them from paying tribute to the slain civil rights leader.

"I come every year, every year, ever since it's been going on," said Obie Brice of Los Angeles.

"Just the camaraderie and everybody coming together as one -- all races, creeds, colors, religions, it doesn't matter, that brings us together and we can appreciate that," said Anyika Sholes of Los Angeles.

King's actual birthday is Jan. 15, but the national holiday in his honor is celebrated on the third Monday in January. He would have been 81 this year.