Black History Parade and Festival 2023
PASADENA, Calif.—The City of Pasadena and the Black History Planning Committee are pleased to announce that the 41st annual Black History Parade and Festival will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Over 80 parade entries will highlight this year’s theme, “Celebrating our Excellence—The Legacy of Councilmember John J. Kennedy.” The parade begins at Fair Oaks Avenue and Mountain View Street and ends at Robinson Park, where the festival takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Pasadena’s Black History Parade is one of the largest and longest-running in Southern California.
The spirit of Councilmember Kennedy and the excellence he exuded will be exemplified throughout the day’s activities. Known for his excellence in broadcasting, Jim Hill, Los Angeles-based sportscaster and current lead sports anchor and sports director at KCBS-TV, is this year’s celebrity grand marshal. Hill is a former defensive back who played in the National Football League for teams including the San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers, and Cleveland Browns. Continuing in the spirt of excellence, two Pasadena natives and sitting Los Angeles County Superior Court judges, Pamela Dansby and Tara Newman, will serve as community grand marshals. Prior to her appointment by Governor Gavin Newsom, Judge Dansby was the managing attorney at Dansby Law Group APC. Judge Dansby earned her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and is a proud John Muir High School graduate. Judge Newman, also a Newsom appointee, matriculated from UCLA and Columbia University School of Law. Judge Newman continues to be an involved member of several community organizations, including the Pasadena/Altadena Links, Inc., First AME Church, and the Association of African American California Judicial Officers. Finally, the John Muir and Pasadena High School football teams will share the honor of serving as youth grand marshals. John Muir brought home the CIF championship and nearly won a state championship, while PHS won the 2022 Pacific League championship.
Other celebrities and special guests who hail from or live in the Pasadena area will join the parade, including Darnay Holmes, former UCLA Bruin and current New York Giants defensive back; and actress Gretchen Palmer, known for her roles in Hollywood films and TV shows, including "When Harry Met Sally," "Young and the Restless," "NCIS LA," and "A Different World." Elected officials, including Congressmembers Judy Chu and Adam Schiff, State Senator Anthony Portantino, Assemblymember Chris Holden, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Pasadena Mayor Victor M. Gordo, City Councilmembers and PUSD School Board members, are scheduled to attend.
The family-friendly festival will feature live performances by R&B artist MAJOR. and the band Luv from Abuv, food for purchase, informational booths, a children’s zone, and a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) fair. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to navigate street closures, find parking, and claim their favorite viewing spot along the parade route. Free parking is provided on a first-come, first-served basis at Calvary Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 135 Glorieta St.
The following streets will be closed for the parade and festival during the times listed. Motorists are advised to use caution while driving through the area.
• Hammond Street between Fair Oaks Avenue and Morton Avenue, 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.
• Morton Avenue between Mountain Street and Hammond Street, 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.
• Fair Oaks Avenue between Woodbury Road and Harriet Street, 7 a.m.- noon
• Fair Oaks Avenue between Mountain Street and Woodbury Road, 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
• Mountain Street between Raymond Avenue and Sunset Street, 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
The parade will be recorded in its entirety by Pasadena Media and will air live on KPAS, Pasadena's government TV station, and Arroyo, the city's community access channel. Visit PasadenaMedia.org for broadcast times.
This year's Black History Parade and Festival sponsors include The Bakewell Company, NAACP Pasadena Branch, Huntington Hospital, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena Recreation and Parks Foundation, Pasadena Management Association, Pasadena Black Municipal Employees Association, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Titan Disposal Co., 110 to the End Motorcycle Club, Way of Life Car Club and City Roses Car Club. Media sponsors include the Pasadena Media, Los Angeles Sentinel and Pasadena Black Pages.
For more information about the parade, festival, and other activities, including parade entry applications, contact the Jackie Robinson Community Center at (626) 744-7300.