Houston News : Houston’s widely admired MLK Parade goes virtual this year


This year marks the 43rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, but the festivities will look a little bit different this year. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event organizers are pivoting to a virtual event instead.

The parade, jointly produced by the Black Heritage Society and the City of Houston, have themed this year’s celebration “Truth, Love and Justice.” Organizers said they chose the theme because it speaks to the history of the organization and the country’s “current reckoning with race and systemic oppression.”

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While the celebration will be virtual, it will still include a march of sorts. Entertainment will incorporate local schools and organizations like the University of Houston marching band, as well as Booker T. Washington High School dance, band and cheer teams.

The 43rd annual MLK Parade is going virtual this year.

Courtesy of Black Heritage Society/City of Houston

While marching forward into the future, the parade will also take a look back from the past. During the virtual broadcast, footage from the very first parade in 1978 as well as other historical footage from over the years will be shown, according to a press release.

While virtual, this year’s parade places special emphasis on community service. Simultaneously during the virtual event, the parade of giving will be taking place as well. Houstonians are called to donate basic essential items at MacGregor Park located at 5225 Calhoun Road. The effort is to support fellow Houstonians who’ve been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to get through these times and come together as a community to support one another first,” said Sylvester Brown, executive director of the Black Heritage Society. “Only then can we move to the work of building a more equitable world.”

Signs and banners shown during last year’s MLK Day Parade.

Courtesy of Black Heritage Society/City of Houston

Grand Marshals for this years parade are Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Lina Hidalgo.

“This year, the “Original” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade will look a little different due to the pandemic, but we are prepared to unite all Houstonians in celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy,” Turner said in a release.

The event will take place virtually on January 18, from 10 a.m. to noon on HTV and via Facebook on the Original MLK Day Parade page. Those interested can sign up to drive in the parade and donate items via the parade website.

Houston Forum

Source : chron.com