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Despite recent cases, residents celebrate MLK Jr. Day

Written by on January 17, 2022

Houston, TX— Houstonians turned out in force to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with two parades honoring the Civil Rights icon on January 17.

This year marked the 43rd anniversary of the Houston Black Heritage Society’s Original Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, which was forced to go virtual the previous year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As COVID-19 instances continue to climb in Harris County, Major Sylvester Turner assuaged people’s concerns early this month by stating that this year’s celebrations will not be virtual.

“We want people to know, the parade will go on,” Turner said during a press conference at City Hall. The parade, which began in 1978, was organized by MLK’s father and served as the nation’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade and holiday celebration.

Meanwhile, locals anticipating the return of the MLK Grande Parade, which dates to 1995, demonstrated their celebratory enthusiasm in the cool Houston morning near San Jacinto and Elgin St, with the theme of Social Inclusion for 2022.

Photo by KTSU2News’ Jonah Baker

Due to the recent spike in cases exacerbated by the rapidly spreading omicron virus, Houstonians who attended the parades were strongly advised to wear masks, get tested for COVID-19 in advance, and ensure they have received all required vaccinations.

The City of Houston and the Black Heritage Society also provided a live stream of the celebration on virtual platforms for community members who wished to take part from the comfort of their own homes.