GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds lined the streets of Gulfport for Monday's Martin Luther King Junior parade. As they celebrated the legacy of the late civil rights leader, parade goers used words like unity and justice to describe the meaning of this holiday.
Everybody loves a parade, especially one that rolls under bright sunshine and blue sky. This celebration is the culmination of a weekend filled with activities and events remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"What I'd really like folks to remember about Dr. King is that he was about service. He was a man of peace and a man of work and a man of value," said Parade Chairman Chris Fisher.
Carolyn Gaines is Mother of the Year for the Biloxi NAACP. Like so many Americans, she was inspired by the "I Have a Dream" speech.
"Bringing unity, bringing us all together to love and show love and joy and kindness towards one another and just represent the greatness of God," said Gaines.
"He was a loving man. He was a caring and compassionate man. That he cared about his people and cared about the growth in our people. Not only in the community, but the whole United States. And not just our people. He cared about all people," said Terrance Collins.
As with any parade, children care most about throws.
"More and more beads! More and more beads!" said one young boy, who had countless strands of beads around his pint sized neck.
Four year old Asia had the perfect perch on Daddy's shoulders.
"I got it!" she yelled, as she grabbed another big string of parade beads.
Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes served as grand marshal.
"He was a man of peace, but that did not mean that he was silent. His words stood for so much. And his actions showed the world that you can get things accomplished as long as you bring people together," she said.
"Happy Martin Luther King Day! Let's keep that dream alive!" shouted one man, as he drove a parade vehicle down 19th Street.