ABOVE: Forward Times MLK Parade Truck
The Black Heritage Society and the City of Houston have announced open registration for the 42nd Annual “Original” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade on Monday, January 20, 2020. The celebration will take place downtown near City Hall, starting at Smith and Lamar streets, from 10 a.m. to noon. Organizations who wish to participate in the parade are instructed to register via an application on www.blackheritagesociety.org by Friday January 3, 2020.
The historic parade was the very first MLK Day Parade held in the nation after being sanctioned by the King family in 1978 here in Houston. Last year, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the City of Houston would provide primary support for the nationally-recognized celebration through a collective partnership with the Black Heritage Society, a non-profit organization founded by longtime community advocate Mr. Ovide Duncantell.
“We are pleased to partner with the Black Heritage Society for a second year to unite all Houstonians in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The 2020 parade promises to be even better than the last. It will celebrate our diversity and represent the values Dr. King preached during his lifetime.”
The celebration will showcase a variety of marching bands, decorated floats, dance teams, military and ROTC groups, first responders, city and county officials, VIP guest appearances and notable organizations from around the world. The Mayor’s Drum Major Award will be presented again, recognizing outstanding performance and originality. Immediately following the parade, the celebration will move to the steps of City Hall for the 4th Annual MLK, Jr. Taste of Houston festival. The family-friendly experience is an upbeat blend of popular cuisines and desserts, artwork, kid-friendly activities and live musical performances.
“The 2020 theme is centered around love and derived from the famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that states, ‘I have decided to stick to love…hate is too great a burden to bear,’” said Sylvester Brown, Executive Director of the Black Heritage Society.
Attendance for both events will be free to the general public. The parade is part of a full weekend of festivities and community service projects with a focus on recognizing the life and legacy of beloved civil rights leader, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The 2020 grand marshal along with an official lineup of community events and projects will be announced soon.
For more information, please call 713-236-1700 or visit the official website at www.blackheritagesociety.org.