Pasadena's 27th annual Black History Parade on Saturday, Feb. 21, will feature as its Celebrity Grand Marshal Ken Whittingham, a 1977 graduate of Muir High School in Pasadena.
Whittingham is a noted producer and director associated with television programs including "Everybody Hates Chris," "Scrubs," "Desperate Housewives," "30 Rock" and "The Office." Other celebrity guests in the parade will include James Reynolds, who has starred as Commissioner Abe Carver on "Days of Our Lives" since 1981; 14-year-old Mariah Wilson, who portrayed Effie's daughter Magic in the film "Dreamgirls"; and 15-year-old Mishon Ratliff, who portrayed Tay on the ABC drama "Lincoln Heights" and whose debut CD will be released this summer by Streamline Records.
The Community Grand Marshal is Lena Kennedy, a Pasadena native who has dedicated herself to working with many local non-profit organizations in the areas of health care and increased civic and political involvement. In 2008 she served on the national financial committee for the presidential campaign to elect Barack Obama.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Charles White Park, located on Ventura Street at Fair Oaks Avenue in Altadena, and will end at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.
Following the parade, a family festival from noon to 4 p.m. at Robinson Park will include live music, food, information booths and a black history exhibition. The festival's musical lineup will include Pasadena jazz artist J. Bokin and the nationally renowned R&B group The Delphonics.
For the past 27 years the City of Pasadena has taken the lead role in organizing Black History Month activities. Major sponsors are the Pasadena Human Services and Recreation Department, Jackie Robinson Center, Wells Fargo Bank and Miller Brewing.
For more information about the parade and festival call (626) 744-7300.
Other free Black History Month activities sponsored by the City of Pasadena include:
Historical display of African American Families as seen through literature and the civil rights movement at La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave. (626) 744-7268 through Feb. 28
Black history display at North entrance at Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. (626) 744-4066 through Feb. 28.
Remembering Mrs. Rosa Parks at Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. (626) 744-4066 on Monday, Feb. 23 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Reading of the one-act play: "The History Man" by Leslie Perry and Bianca Taylor at Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. (626) 744-4066 on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 2 to 3 p.m.