Pierce County’s Martin Luther King Day parade will take place beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, January 17.

The parade will assemble at 8:30 a.m. at the Board of Education Central Office on Main Street. Parade organizer Isaac Moses reminds participants to come early for line up.

“We will begin the parade promptly at 10 a.m.,” he said.

Pierce County native Dr. Rodney P. McClendon will be the grand marshal of this year’s parade.

The parade will travel down Main Street to the Courthouse and then turn left on to U.S. Highway 84. The parade will travel down Highway 84 and turn right on Ware Street and will disband at the Lee Street Resource Center.

“We encourage everyone to come out and participate in the parade,” said Moses.

The parade is always held on the Monday of the federal holiday celebrating MLK’s birthday.

COVID-19 protocols will be in place for this year’s celebration and the annual banquet held on Saturday night has been omitted. A program is being planned at the Lee Street Resource Center.

Pierce County’s  youth, including Kiya Harris and Willie White, will be on the program.

McClendon will be recognized as grand marshal and Shelina Vail Murchinson will be recognized as businesswoman of the year.

McClendon’s most recent higher education assignment, he served as vice president for operations at Carnegie Mellon University—Pittsburgh, PA.

Prior to joining CMU and currently, McClendon serves as senior partner for Forward Motion, a consulting firm that advises universities and not-for-profit organizations on issues of leadership and governance, strategic planning, diversity, change management, risk mitigation and crisis management.

McClendon previously served in administration at the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University at Galveston and Texas A&M University. At Texas A&M, he served as chief of staff to the Honorable Robert M. Gates, former president of the university and former Director of CIA.

A native of Blackshear, he earned a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance from Morehouse College, a law degree from Emory University and a Ph.D. in leadership, education and communications from Texas A&M University. Dr. McClendon is a 1986 graduate and salutatorian of Pierce County High School. He is the son of the late Sallie and Eugene McClendon of Blackshear.

Murchinson in the daughter of Rachel Vail and the mother of Amari Murchinson and Brenton Murchinson and her dog, Sasha Murchinson.

She was born and raised in Pierce County, and after graduating from high school, she married and her husband’s military career moved them to Norfolk, VA. There she received her master cosmetology license and became a full-time beautician.

After a few years, she opened her first hair salon, “Hair Masters” which was in business in Norfolk for seven years until she returned to Pierce County in 2013.

After returning home, she opened “In Style Salon” and it has been in business for over eight years.

Murchinson said she is proud of her business and loved her job and her clients.

“I have always loved doing hair and making people feel good about themselves,” she said. “At 46 years old, I feel like I am in the prime of my career. With God, the support and love of my children, family and clients, I am living my best live and always striving to do and be more, all while staying grateful and humble.”

For more information, contact, Isaac Moses, chairman, at 449-5589 (home) or 552-0118 (cell), or Ellene Henry at (912) 424-0014 (cell).