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Pensacola Parade Celebrates Dr. King's Memory

What started out as a parade turned into a party in Downtown Pensacola as the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day parade made its way down Palafox Street from Martin Luther King Plaza south towards the bay. 

Credit Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Thousands of people lined the street as bands played and area officials riding in convertibles tossed beads and candy into the crowd.  People were surprised and pleased that the holiday has become an opportunity for the community to come together.  Pensacola City Council President Jewel Cannada-Wynn said bringing people together is the message of Dr. King, and that's the best way for pensacola to move forward.

With sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s, the crowd settled in for the long haul as different bands and posts marched in formation down the parade route.  NAS Pensacola Captain Keith Hoskins was the Grand Marshall of the parade and drew a lot of cheers as he waved to the crowd.  Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford walked the rope line trying to recruit new voters. Also shaking hands and talking with people along the route was Escambia County Sherriff David Morgan.

The bill establishing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day as a federal holiday was signed into law in 1983.  It was first observed in 1986. Had he lived, Dr. King would have turned 85 years old this month.