Thousands at MLK parade in Denver |

Thousands at MLK parade in Denver

DENVER, Colorado ” Thousands of Coloradans are participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in downtown Denver.

This year’s march from City Park to Civic Center Park near the Capitol comes a day before what’s seen by many participants as the realization of part of King’s dream ” the inauguration of America’s first black president.

Black and white, young and old, bands and drill teams marched along Colfax Boulevard to commemorate the slain civil rights leader and celebrate Barack Obama’s pending presidency. One banner read, “Someday is here” ” a reference to King’s 1963 “I have a Dream” speech.

“It’s the biggest deal you can imagine,” said Terrie Lewis, 51, as she watched the parade from the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception near the Capitol. “We’re all familiar with Dr. King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. Obama is bringing the dream to life.”

Lewis’ day care students sat in lawn chairs watching and cheering the parade.

Homero Ocon, 38, pushed a baby stroller along the route as he walked beside a banner that read, “We have a Dream ” Immigration Reform ” Stop the Raids.” A crowd chanted in English and Spanish, “The people united will never be divided!”

“We support Obama, and at the same time we want our voices to be heard,” Ocon said. “We want to keep the movement alive.”

King Day events were being held around the state ” and Coloradans also volunteered at a series of “Call to Service” community events statewide. Michelle Obama and other leaders had urged U.S. citizens to mark the holiday by helping others.

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