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MLK Day in Texarkana: Parade rolls through downtown

MLK Day in Texarkana: Parade rolls through downtown

January 22nd, 2019 by Karl Richter in Texarkana News

Michael Madison, a snare drummer for the Stompers Drumline, beats along to the song of the marching band at the Fourth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade on Monday morning in Texarkana, Ark. The theme of the parade was "The Power of One: One Man, One Dream, One Hope." The parade started on East Broad Street and headed West on East Front Street.

With "The Power of One" as its theme, Texarkana's fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade on Monday celebrated how one man, one dream and one hope can change the world for the better.

Watchers gathered along Front, Olive and Broad streets downtown to see churches, businesses and community organizations participate in the parade, which was sponsored by youth leadership development organization Bridging the Gaps of Arkansas.

The local Civil Air Patrol color guard led the parade's floats, motorcycles, vintage cars and horses past a review stand in Front Street Festival Plaza, and children collected candy that parade participants threw to them.

Despite mostly sunny skies, a stiff, cold breeze had participants and spectators bundled in winter coats and hats as the parade got under way at 11:30 a.m.

This year's grand marshal was Rhonda Dolberry, known for community work with groups such as the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council's African-American Committee, the city's chapter of the NAACP and the Rose Hill Neighborhood Improvement Association.

Participants included The Gate for the Sheep Tabernacle, the Stompers Drumline and Arkansas High School Band drumline, radio stations KTOY-FM and KMJI-FM, The Scholars youth group, Majestic Star No. 427 Oes-Pha, Smith-Keys Learning Center, Dyamond Kutters Riding Club, the Ms. She's Got It All Pageant, Texas A&M University-Texarkana and the Arkansas 20101st Air Force Junior ROTC group from Hope High School.

The parade was one among many across the United States that celebrated King's work and legacy on the holiday named for him. Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a federal holiday since 1986 but was not officially observed in all 50 states until 2000.

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