Wilmington celebrates legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at annual parade
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Though it was a chilly day in the Port City, people lined the streets of Downtown Wilmington for the 21st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade.
For some, the parade was a way to spend a fun day off work or school with family. For others, it was a moment of reflection on the legacy of the civil rights leader.
“We really wanted to come out and just celebrate Martin Luther King, what this day means to us. I definitely wanted to bring my son for the culture so he could have a great experience,” said Zelnita Nixon, who attended the parade Monday.
Sunday marked what would have been Dr. King’s 94th birthday. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in April 1968 at just 39 years old.
This year also marks the 60-year anniversary of King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
MLK Day is especially important for many in the Cape Fear, as Dr. King was meant to be in Wilmington on the day of his assassination for a voter registration rally. He canceled the trip to stay in Memphis for a different rally.
Now, the MLK Day parade has become a tradition for many in the Wilmington-area. It includes music, dancing and appearances from many local organizations and leaders.
For those who spent the day along 3rd Street celebrating, it was an opportunity to remember a civil rights leader who helped pave the way for those who marched with him, and those who came after him.
“Just coming together as a people for the culture, everything that the ancestors did before us to make this day magical for everybody,” Nixon said.
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