Kingdom Day Parade trades marching bands and drill teams for COVID tests

Instead of marching bands and drill teams, CORE, The Congress of Racial Equality Kingdom Day Parade Committee, decided on a different kind of parade this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year the "parade" in Leimert Park was a long, snaking line of cars with people waiting to get free COVID tests. Make no mistake… people liked the traditional parade, saying things like it was meaningful because "it brings unity and community." This year's event was canceled for the second straight year.

People in line for tests also remember Dr. King. One man said, "I remember when they announced he got shot. That never left my mind." Another said she remembered him as a child. We also talked with a 7-year-old who said Dr. King was a special man who, to her, represented "something nice."

RELATED: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous quotes as America honors his legacy

Talking about Dr. King, Adrian Dove who is now 87, says "I met him in 1964". He had great admiration for King and loves the parade. He’s been its Chairman and CEO for a decade. Were he alive today, Dove believes Dr. King would have put public health above a day of honor. So, the committee decided to, "…do something to kill the virus. So that’s why we did it."

We talked with people in the line of cars. One person said, "We just need those tests done to be sure everyone is doing well to get back to doing what we need to do." Another said, "I’m trying to check my son out right now." Medical assistants on site told us, "We’re getting a lot of negatives, positives… yes." But, to the people getting the results, hearing the words "you’re negative" was as good as hearing a parade marching down W Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

RELATED: MLK Day Timeline: How the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday became a holiday

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