Pasadena will play host to two major events this Saturday in honor of Black History Month, with both the 36th Annual Black History Parade and Festival and a special celebration at the Pasadena Central Library commemorating the occasion.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Metropolitan Baptist Church on Fair Oaks Avenue and Figueroa Street in Altadena; then heads south on Fair Oaks Avenue before ending at Pasadena’s Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., where the festival takes place from noon to 4 p.m. on the north side of the park. The newly renovated, state-of-the-art Robinson Park Recreation Center will be open during the festival as well.

The parade is the oldest and largest Black History Month parade in Los Angeles County, and its festival will feature live bands, dance performers, community booths and guest speakers in addition to numerous food vendors and food trucks. The grand marshal for the parade is KTLA Channel 5 weatherman Kaj Goldberg, and the festival marks the first major event at the Robinson Park Community Center since its recently completed $12 million renovation.

That renovation included a 2 ½ acre expansion of the existing park and improvements that included new soccer  and baseball fields, installation of synthetic turf, construction of new restroom and storage facilities, new sports field lighting, site amenities and a parking lot. The 19,000 sq. ft. recreation center was also enhanced.

The Pasadena Central Library’s Black History Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut Street. The event-packed schedule features an 11:30 a.m. screening of the documentary “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley & the Politics of Race”, presented by Lyn Goldfarb. The talk “Partners to History: Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy & the Civil Rights Movement” will be presented by Donzaleigh Abernathy, daughter of the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and will be followed by a Q&A session.

The Metropolitan Praise Dancers will perform at 2:15 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. performance by the Down Home Gospel Choirs. Local author and historian Roberta Martinez will present her talk “Beyond Jackie, Rosa and Martin: Black Pioneers with Pasadena Connections” at 4 p.m.

All events are free. For more information, call (626) 744-4066 or visit For a related story on the Black History Festival at the Pasadena Library’s central branch, visit page 6