Recording star Stevie Wonder will lead the second annual Martin Luther King parade throughout Southeast Washington today -- one of several activities in the Washington area this week honoring the slain civil right leader.
Wonder volunteered on Friday to join the parade, said D.C. City Council member Wilhemina Rolark, a parade sponsor. "We're so glad to have him . . . His coming is a big surprise. I am sure it will be an inspiration for the children."
D.C. and Prince George's County government offices and schools in the District and Montgomery County will be closed in observance of King's birthday today. Prince George's schools, and Montgomery offices, however, will remain open. Federal government offices will remain open as well.
The city's official celebration will be held at 10 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Library, 901 G St. NW. The celebration will include speeches and tributes by civic leaders and children performances from the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts.
Regular weekday traffic regulations will be in effect, including all rush-hour restrictions and parking regulations.
High-stepping bands and drill teams from District high schools and decorated cars from businesses and civic organizations will parade down Martin Luther King Avenue SE, starting at 10 a.m. at the old Curtis Brothers furniture store in the 2400 block.
The parade will wind down the street, then turn onto South Capitol Street, stopping at the Covenant Baptist Church at 3485 S. Capitol St., where a commemorative service will be held after the parade.
The service will include speeches by Wonder, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and City Council Chairman Arrington Dixon.
The Martin Luther King Outreach Inc. community service organization will hold a concert at 7 p.m. today at the 19th Street Baptist Church, 4606 16th St.
In Prince George's, the Martin Luther King Committee will sponsor a program at the Glenarden Town Hall, 8600 Glenarden Parkway. Panelists in the morning and afternoon session will discuss "Where Do We Go From Here," and in the afternoon they will discuss "Who Was and What Was Martin Luther King."
At 7:30 p.m. at Glenarden Hall, comedian and social activist Dick Gregory will speak at a banquet sponsored by the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.