Clark County celebrates 39th annual MLK Day with virtual parade

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Clark County hosted the 39th Annual MLK Day Parade usually held in Downtown Las Vegas entirely online.

Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, this year’s parade honoring Dr. King’s legacy was virtual. On Monday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. viewers were able to log onto their computer and watch the festivities online for free.

The theme was “Living the Dream – the time is right, to do what’s right.”

The virtual parade included taped and live segments with local bands, performers, DJs and featured speeches by local elected officials and celebrities.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE OR VIEW IN THE PLAYER BELOW:

Last year, according to the organizer, more than 30,000 people attended the parade in Downtown Las Vegas. Interestingly, they added they had as many people working the virtual event as if it was an in-person public event.

“Coming together is the message. We cannot affect change as individuals only, only as a group, and only as a community. We have to be like-minded for civil rights for all,” said MLK Day virtual parade committee member.

The special virtual event featured:

  • Virtual cultural booths
  • Performance group recordings
  • Statements from local political figures
  • Digital celebrity appearances

The virtual parade is part of local King Week events, which include the Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Summit, Young Dreamers Awards Program, MLK Scholarship Awards Banquet, and two church services.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued the following statement on MLK Day: 

“Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. legacy. He left an indelible imprint on our nation’s history as a civil rights leader who fought to end racial inequality, eradicate racial segregation and advance human rights for all people. 

He led our society through a period of civil and social unrest and instilled in us that change is possible through civil discourse and nonviolent demonstrations. 

His renowned ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ echoes through our nation as Americans continue to fight to live in a nation ‘where we will not be judged by the color of our skin but the content of (our) character.’ 

As we observe this national holiday, I implore all Nevadans to not only reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions but to continue to uphold his legacy by striving to become better agents of peace in this world.”  

– Governor Steve Sisolak

This year’s parade also teamed up with the Nevada Help Desk and Tech Queen Elite Training Institute that trains, certifies and employees students looking to get into the tech industry.

Dr. King once stated that the purpose of education is to teach young people how to think critically and intensely. That was the true essence of education, according to the civil rights icon.

To enforce that concept, organizers tell us the parade was put together by a dozen local students from the Tech Queen Elite Training Institute. Everything from editing and video production to website design, they ran the show.

During the MLK Day virtual parade, guest speaker Mr. Wendell P. Williams announced that an exhibit is in the works with Caesars Entertainment to preserve history by displaying King Week photos and other civil rights event memorabilia. More details will be provided in the future, according to Williams.

View video and interviews from the 38th annual MLK Day parade below. The 2021 annual event will be virtual:

Please note: Clark County offices are closed Monday, Jan. 18 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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