Olympian Raven Saunders to serve as Grand Marshal for 156th annual Emancipation Proclamation Parade in Charleston

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Olympian Raven Saunders will be the Grand Marshal for the 156th annual Emancipation Proclamation Parade in downtown Charleston.

The annual celebration marks the signing of the Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln to free enslaved people in the southern states. It was signed on January 1, 1863, as the United States approached its third year embroiled in the Civil War.

The parade, to be held on January 1st, 2022, will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Saunders – who is a Burke high school graduate and decorated athlete – as the lead.

Dozens of churches, businesses, clubs, schools, bands, and more will line up in decorated floats and groups as they make their way through the parade route in celebration.

City leaders said the Charleston Emancipation celebration has been held on New Year’s Day since 1866 and is considered our nation’s oldest parade commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation.

The parade will begin at Burke High School on Fishburne Street to Ashley Avenue, then left on Ashley Ave., right on Sumter Street to King Street, right on King Street to Calhoun Street, left on Calhoun Street to Concord Street will come to an end at the International African American Museum.

Those who would like to participate in the 2022 parade can register online by clicking here.

Proceeds collected from the parade’s enrollment fee will benefit the Albert W. Hunt Education Scholarship Program.

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