Vicksburg MLK parade is a heavyweight

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Vicksburg’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade is coming back this year with four heavyweight boxers scheduled to serve as grand marshals, the Vicksburg Post reported.

Organizer Sylvester Walker said boxers Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, James Toney and Ray Mercer will participate in the Jan. 14 parade.

The parade and a barbecue celebration are scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. in downtown Vicksburg. The parade will take the traditional route starting at Belmont Street, going north on Washington Street and ending with a cookout on the Farmers Market lot at the corner of Grove and Washington streets.

“The community is invited, but there is a limited amount of food,” Walker told the Post.

Last year there was no parade for the first time in a decade because of a miscommunication on who would organize the event, the newspaper reported.

The four parade grand marshals are coming to Vicksburg by way of promotional agent Lawrence Hardge. Hardge, a native of Vicksburg, invited the boxers to come to help Walker, his childhood friend, make the parade a big hit in its return, the newspaper said.

The boxers will also make promotional appearances at a fundraising event the night before at the Ameristar Casino from 7-9 p.m. Tickets for that event are $10, the Post reported.