Once a year we pay tribute to visionary civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday, and it's to Houston's credit that some of the biggest and best MLK Day events are staged here. Whether you'll be working Monday or taking the day off to celebrate and remember, here's a general rundown of the holiday weekend's big events:
The Fourth Annual MLK Youth Parade
Stretching along Allen Parkway between Taft Street and downtown, organizers say this parade is the third-largest in the country after the Rose Parade and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Featuring 20 floats and 45 marching bands, 200,000 people are expected to attend and over 4 million will watch it on TV nationwide.
Saturday 6 p.m.
Ninth Annual Battle of the Bands High School Marching Band Competition
Twenty nationally acclaimed high school marching bands from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas will compete for glory at UH's Robertson Stadium. The Battle of the Bands will also feature the University Of Houston “Spirit Of Houston” Marching Band and the Prairie View A&M “Marching Storm” Marching Band in exhibition. If you liked the movie Drumline (or at least liked watching the moves on the field), this is a must-see event.
Monday, 10 a.m.
The 16th Annual MLK Grande Parade
Themed "Embracing the Brotherhood of Man," this one is as big as the Youth Parade, with 20 floats, 45 marching bands and over 150 performing groups, but with a longer route and over half a million expected spectators and a viewing audience of 4 million.