In honor of the slain civil rights leader who changed the course of history, events this weekend are planned to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Several events are planned for Monday, Jan. 18, the day set aside to commemorate his message and what he stood for.
An ecumenical unity march will begin at 8 a.m. on MLK Drive where area ministers and community leaders will lead the unity march, singing and praying to honor the ministerial efforts of King and recommit fostering unity in our community.
At 10 a.m., the MLK parade will begin in downtown Minden. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated float, best band performance and most spirited group or organization.
The grand marshal for the parade will be Grambling State University Hall of Fame Inductee Bunny Rad Hudson. Hudson, a Minden native, comes from a long line of athletes. He graduated from Webster High School where he was a Basketball All-American in 1961. Continuing to advance his skills, he was named All-State three times and lettered four years in basketball.
His decision to go to Grambling was prompted and accomplished by the offer of a full scholarship to play for the Tigers. After a period of preparation, it was decided that Hudson would transfer to the baseball team. That move was akin to a blood transfusion for Bunny.
He did not let anything slow him down.
Hudson was baseball to the core; concurrently, he achieved top ratings as he lettered all four years. As a freshman, Hudson led the Southwestern Conference in every category except steals, and he ranked third in that category. As the team progressed, so did Hudson. He was an inspiration as he played three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournaments with the Tigers.
Later, Hudson impacted students as he coached at Ringgold, Webster and Minden High Schools. His baseball team won seven straight district titles his first seven years as coach at Webster. Everybody knows Coach Hudson. He was an assistant basketball coach at Webster, when Webster High School won the State AA Championship the first year of its membership in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
Coach Hudson began and developed a love for officiating while in college. That skill and excellence in that area provided him with another attachment to sports and athletics. Because of his excellence in that area, he received the LHSAA Sports 30 Years’ Service Award.
In July 2015, Bunny, along with 10 other GSU athletes, were inducted into Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame, which is the highest honor the Legends can bestow upon a former Grambling athlete.
Immediately following the parade, a youth rally will take place at the Minden Civic center where the winners of the parade contest, essay and poster contest winners will be announced.
MLK Celebration commemorative T-shirts are still available.
For more information and entry forms for activities, contact Minden City Councilwoman Fayrine A. Kennon-Gilbert, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration committee chairperson, at 377-0934, 773-2289 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activities for the 29th Annual Celebration
Saturday, Jan. 16
Basketball tournament: The basketball tournament will be at the Minden Recreation Complex gym. Elementary, junior high, girls’ and boys’ teams as well as young adult teams will compete.
Sunday, Jan. 17
Commemorative service: A commemorative service will be at 6 p.m. at St. Rest Baptist Church. The keynote speaker will be the Hon. Shonda Stone, Caddo Parish juvenile judge. MLK Youth Leadership Awards and Oratorical Contest winners will be presented.
Monday, Jan. 18
Ecumenical Unity March: The Unity March will be at 8 a.m. on MLK Drive.
Parade: The MLK Parade will be at 10 a.m. in downtown Minden with competition for the best decorated float, best band performance (junior high and high school) and most spirited group/organization.
A youth rally will immediately follow the parade at the Minden Civic Center. Essay and poster contest winners will be announced.