BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It was a beautiful day for a parade, and the large crowds in downtown Biloxi reflected the nice conditions.
"I love seeing our people come out and celebrate the vision of Martin Luther King, and we're in peace and bringing our grand kids and daughters. I'm proud to be here," said Kathy George.
In between catching beads, Jeremy McCarty reflected on Dr. King's legacy.
"He was a true pioneer in the civil rights movement. He was a man of God, and it's a blessing to see every race of people out here," said McCarty.
The parade is an annual tradition that brings out the young, old, and people from far and wide, like Roberta Heidelberg, of Shubuta, MS.
"I want my nephew and my nieces and everything to know about everything. How, you know, it shouldn't be based about color. Just something to do and celebrate," said Heidelberg.
At this year's parade, there was even more to celebrate.
"We are very happy that they made this decision to make Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday," said Herschell Pargo, vice president of the Biloxi chapter of the NAACP.
Pargo came straight from the special meeting to the parade to deliver the news.
"When I gave them news that they had did it, they jumped for joy. The whole street just about," said Pargo.
Even with that big announcement fresh on everyone's mind, the focus of the parade was still on Dr. King and keeping his message alive.
"Because we're homeschooling, it's up to me to expose them to things like this, celebrating national figures and important people," said Andrea Cunningham.
This year, there was no battle of the bands following the parade. Organizers say the bands were just too expensive.