Thousands Celebrate Dr. King In Biloxi

Thousands lined the streets of Biloxi Monday morning to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The large crowd braved the chilly wind and scattered showers to watch the holiday parade and enjoy the annual "Battle of the Bands" at Yankie Stadium.

Lula Grubbs watched the parade from the shelter of a porch on Division Street. Nasty weather threatened to spoil the celebration. But while it rained on the parade, Dr. King's message wasn't watered down.

"To bring people together. Most important. So this is why we celebrate. To remember him," said Grubbs.

Clutching his video camera, Calvin Glover positioned himself to get a good shot of his daughter. She's an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader. He wants Syretheal Glover and others her age to understand Dr. King's legacy.

"To let them know what he did and what he stood for. And that's the reason they're able to do the things they do today."

Music takes on special significance at the Biloxi King Day celebration. Premier marching bands performed in the parade, then prepared to do battle at Yankie Stadium.

Jiovana Johnson says the bands are an imporant part of the celebration.

"Because there's very few black colleges anyway. So this is just a celebration and this is just how we celebrate. Just a musical extravaganza."

Sheila Anderson could hardly wait for the bands to get fired up.

"It's gonna be live and they're gonna be jamming. I can't wait to see that "Sonic Boom".

Whatever their preference, the Biloxi crowd came ready to celebrate the bands. And while the bands did indeed get the crowd jamming, the message of Dr. King also rang true.

Jarvis McInnis read from Dr. King's most famous speech.

"We'll be able to sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last."