Legacy of pride
The 32nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival IS set for Saturday
By Carl Kozlowski 02/13/2014
Pasadena may be world-famous for the Rose Parade, but it is also the proud home to at least one other major parade each year: The annual Black History Parade and Festival, which marks its 32nd birthday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. With the theme “Black History: A Legacy for the Present and Our Future,” the celebration brings together an enormous array of entertainment and community groups to spotlight the accomplishments of the African-American community.
This year’s parade will feature the Pasadena City College Band and Herald Trumpeters leading the way from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be followed by 76 floats and marching groups, which include musicians, dancers, equestrians, local youth groups and community leaders.
The parade’s grand marshals are Gary Moody, a community activist who is also president of the NAACP Pasadena Branch and Shirlette Butler-Elder, director of Butler-Elder Family Child Care. The duo will be kicking off the parade at 10 a.m. from Charles White Park, located at North Fair Oaks Avenue and Ventura Street in Altadena, before heading south on Fair Oaks and ending at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena.
As such, the following streets will be closed during the parade and festival:
Hammond Street between Morton and Fair Oaks avenues from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fair Oaks between Woodbury Road and Mountain Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Mountain between Raymond and Morton avenues from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Morton between Glorieta and Hammond streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The festival follows directly after the parade and is headlined by two musical acts: The female R&B band Klymaxx and 2013’s Pasadena Idol winner Tori Harvey. Food will be sold and free information booths will be located throughout the park.
“We’ve had more entries than ever this year, with nearly 80 floats and performers coming from as far away as Palm Springs and San Bernardino,” said Jarvis Emerson, community services supervisor at the Jackie Robinson Community Center, located across the street from Robinson Park.
“The headline group will be R&B singing group Klymaxx, whom people should really enjoy from back in the day,” Emerson said.
Emerson is particularly proud of this year’s grand marshals. Moody, a lifelong resident of Pasadena was deeply involved in local issues long before becoming head of the local NAACP chapter. Moody is a professional business consultant who founded the firm CMI Consultants in 1981 and watched it grow to include clients from around the globe. Moody serves with such groups as the Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, Day One Community Coalition and the Community Violence Intervention Prevention & Network Steering Committee.
Fellow grand marshal Shirlette Butler-Elder was a beautician for 10 years before deciding to provide child care for pre-school children. Her belief in giving her young charges a strong start in life extends beyond ensuring they receive solid pre-school lessons. Butler-Elder teaches them self-confidence and public speaking abilities through frequent performances as speakers at events across Los Angeles.
“She always wants to make sure kids have a strong foundation and she goes the extra mile,” said Emerson. “It’s really wonderful to honor two people who are so committed to the community.”
The 32nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Pasadena and Altadena. For more information, call (626) 744-7311.