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The unseasonably warm January weather made for a perfect parade day for the annual Martin Luther King Day Parade on Monday. Those who marched in the parade gathered by Burke High School, where a sea of cars and floats filled the street. 

Music drifted across the space from several different vehicles, and everyone was all smiles as they prepared for the parade to get underway. A festively dressed Shania Richardson-Brown perched atop a white car for her first time being driven through the parade, and the car’s driver laughed, “She keeps asking, ‘When do I start waving?’” 

Several vehicles played recordings of Dr. King’s speeches and boasted poignant messages, emphasizing the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King and his message today. The Addlestone Hebrew Academy truck displayed a sign reading, “We Still Have a Dream”, and little boy in another car held a handmade sign reading, “I can play in Hampton Park! Thank you, Dr. King!”

The parade got organized and made their way to King Street, where a large crowd waited. Attendees had set up lawn chairs along the road, and children clamored for candy from the floats while the adults eyed an ice cream truck that had strategically parked by the barricade. 

The crowd of bystanders flanked both sides of King Street, and people waved and called to friends and neighbors as the parade went by. Loud, joyous shouts of “Happy King Day!” filled the air, as Charleston’s communities came out to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

The Martin Luther King Day Parade was hosted by the YWCA Greater Charleston and the City of Charleston. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.