BRIDGEPORT - The annual Barnum Festival parade in Bridgeport begins this Sunday, and an African-American will serve as grand marshal for the first time in its 67 years.

Bobby Kennedy is the deputy director of Public Facilities in Bridgeport.

The Parade Committee chose him to be grand marshal because of his decades of involvement in the city, and to honor first responders.

Kennedy says that he was happy to accept the honor, on one condition.

"I wanted the theme of my parade - I would call it my parade or my float - to be connecting the communities, and I want to see if everyone from throughout the city of Bridgeport can be involved," he said.

As the first-ever African-American Barnum Parade grand marshal, Kennedy says he wants all neighborhoods and all ethnic groups to feel like this is their parade.

"I think this is a time, especially in Bridgeport and around the country, where we all need to be together," he says. "And I think connecting the communities, working together with the different communities, is what we need to be doing, and I think that would make P.T. Barnum very proud."