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37th annual MLK parade kicks off Monday in downtown Las Vegas

Updated January 21, 2019 - 1:06 am

Thousands are expected to line Fourth Street in downtown Las Vegas on Monday morning for the city’s 37th annual parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Organizers founded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee in 1981 and presented the first parade in 1982, predating the declaration of a national MLK Day holiday by one year.

The parade, which is sponsored by MGM Resorts International, will start on Fourth Street at Gass Avenue at 10 a.m. and will travel just over a half-mile north on Fourth to Ogden Avenue. Fourth Street will be closed early Monday morning from Charleston Boulevard to Stewart Avenue in preparation for the parade.

This year’s theme is “Living the Dream: One People, One Nation, One Dream.”

Committee president and founder Wendell Williams said the theme was chosen to send a message of “peace, love and unity” to the Las Vegas Valley.

“Here in Clark County, in Nevada, we’re a better place when we work as one,” Williams said, “and we’re a better people when we work together.”

Williams said the committee wants the parade to be as inclusive as possible to help involve the entire Las Vegas community.

This year’s parade ambassador is actor, director and producer Antonio Fargas, known for his roles as Huggy Bear in the 1970s series “Starsky and Hutch” and Link Brown in the 1974 movie “Foxy Brown.”

Parade marshals are Willie McTear, a Vietnam veteran and retired employee of the Clark County Juvenile Court System; Pamela Goynes-Brown, the first African-American woman elected to represent North Las Vegas Ward 2 and current North Las Vegas mayor pro tempore; Asha Jones, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford; and Las Vegas Councilman Cedric Crear.

A list of parade participants was not available.

The committee also will host the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Fest starting at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Victory Missionary Baptist Church, 500 W. Monroe Ave. The event will feature local gospel recording artists and Disney Channel star Trinitee Stokes as a guest speaker. Free tickets are available online.

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