LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More than 30,000 people were expected in downtown Las Vegas Monday to celebrate the life of prolific civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The parade, which ran down 4th Street, featured more than 250 community organizations including church and youth groups, nonprofit organizations, politicians, school bands and drill teams. All participating to honor King.
"I'm here to celebrate Martin Luther King and what he did for our universe. He made it a better place so little black girls and little white girls could stay together and be together," said Saniyah Walker, a student a Bonner Elementary School.
The 8-year-old explained how the civil rights leader fought for civil and economic equality in a time of great social and political unrest.
"People were being separated and some people couldn't even get jobs because of this so he made it a better place or people to get jobs and so everyone could be together and he found a way to do it peacefully," Walker said.
King advocated for change with non-violent resistance through boycotts, sit-ins and other forms of civil disobedience. He led marches across the country, pushing for an end to the Vietnam war, the end to poverty and for more jobs and freedom for African Americans. He was a captivating speaker, his bellowing voice boomed from car speakers during the parade.
"His vision and his words resonate every day," said Donna Oglesby, who came out for the parade.
Oglesby said she's inspired by King every day and spent this morning sending his words to her friends.
"The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy," she said, reading an MLK quote from her phone. "MLK - bam!"