MLK Parade Rolls Through Biloxi

People along the Mississippi Gulf Coast took the time to reflect on the sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior on Monday. This year's festivities in Biloxi were scaled down but not stopped by Hurricane Katrina. Many people at today's parade said they've come to get the storm off their minds.

They already had the groove, but the Soul Patrol says perfecting these moves took time.

Fifteen-year-old Tiffany Bingham said, "We practice. We work real hard. We just don't throw something together."

The hard work isn't just about entertaining the crowd. The drill team helps keep young people on the right road.

"It gives them a sense of motivation," said sponsor Brian Reid. "With them participating in the Martin Luther King parade, it also allows them to see a lot of things and to hear and learn a lot of things within our heritage and within our community. That will allow them to grow and instill something in them positive instead of something negative."

The parade exemplified how even a negative experience like Katrina, can produce some good. Volunteers here from across the country walked in a show of love for the Gulf Coast.

"Just to give back to the community, show support, and make sure the community knows we're here for you guys," said volunteer Zach Huddleston.

Betty Boggan is a Biloxi resident. "We appreciate what they did when Katrina came around. We're just happy to have them in the parade. We're glad they came to help us out."

In the crowd some volunteers from North Carolina took a break from gutting houses. They said it was good to see people who've been through so much enjoying themselves.

"It's putting the vitality back in the people and bringing the spirit back out," Rick Westerman said.