Houston Astros' star George Springer and Congressman John Lewis to be grand marshals of MLK parade

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The city announced George Springer and Congressman John Lewis will be the grand marshalls at the unified parade.

The MLK parade in downtown Houston will get an added boost of star power from a Houston Astros' MVP and a civil rights icon and politician.

The city of Houston announced Monday that Astros outfielder George Springer and Congressman John Lewis will service as Grand Marshals of the parade on Jan. 21.

For the first time, the city is officially throwing its support behind the parade presented by the Black Heritage Society in downtown, after years of dueling events.

The second event, the MLK Grande Parade, typically took place in Midtown.

But back in July, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city would support the parade organized by the Black Heritage Society. The mayor called for one unified parade to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy.

He said over the summer that many Houstonians have opted out of attending any parade because of the "separation" on a day where everyone should be together.

This year's unified parade will be in memory of Ovide Duncantell, a Houston civil rights activist who fought for equal rights for African Americans for many years.

Duncantell was the founder of the country's first Martin Luther King, Jr. parade. Duncantell died in November.

SEE MORE: Houstonian who founded the first ever MLK Day parade is laid to rest

The mayor says the parade will also have a new route, passing in front of City Hall.

Head to the Black Heritage Society's website to find out more about participating in the parade.

ABC13 is a community partner with the parade, which will be streamed live on abc13.com.

RELATED: Mayor Turner: City will support Black Heritage Society as official MLK Jr. Day parade in Houston
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