Events held around town to honor MLK Day

January 17, 2011 3:02:14 PM PST
Today, the nation remembers the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Houstonians are also getting ready to honor the civil rights legend. The largest is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., parade sponsored by the Heritage Society.

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The parade started at 10am Monday on Texas Avenue near Minute Maid Park. It traveled down Caroline and San Jacinto before returning to the park on Prairie. The parade featured 720 floats, 45 marching bands and wound through the streets near downtown for two and a half hours. A free concert will be held at 1pm.

The parade foundation's 17th Annual MLK Grande Parade will begin at 2pm on Allen Parkway near Taft, travel to the edge of downtown and return.

Pre-parade activities include the top contestants from the Battle of the Bands. High school bands from around the country battled it out Saturday at the fifth annual MLK Youth Parade for a chance to perform today.

Also today The Children's Museum of Houston will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday with a peace rally. At noon, Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech will be recited by the Gardere Oratory Competition winner, who will be introduced by State Rep. Garnet Coleman. A peace rally will be led through the museum by the Children's Museum's Kid's Committee to celebrate freedom of speech. The Young Harmonies of Houston also will perform.

More than a thousand people are expected at a Martin Luther King celebration in The Woodlands. The event is at the Woodlands United Methodist Church. Eyewitness sports anchor Tim Melton is serving as emcee. He will present the drum major award to an individual or business that makes Dr. King's dreams come true. The event starts at noon.

People of all religious denominations are invited to pay tribute to Doctor King. Two events are planned in honor of the civil rights leader in Galveston. A prayer vigil is at noon at Saint Vincent House, while youth will perform at the Galveston Island Convention Center from 5pm to 8pm. Tickets for that event are $5 each.

Over in La Marque, the Mainland United Task Force is hosting a Martin Luther King Junior parade at 10am. It starts on Westward Street and ends on Bayou Road. A rally will follow the parade at Fellowship Baptist Church on Rose Street in Texas City.

More than a million Americans, including the first couple will participate in service projects to honor the holiday. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity head on over to the Fifth Ward, local organizations are gathering there from 7:30am until 2:30pm, working on several projects from building homes, to cleaning up streets and landscaping.