Denver’s MLK Marade and celebration is back live on Monday

After gathering virtually last year because of the pandemic, Denver’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade is back in person on Monday and organizers expect thousands of participants in the long-running, annual event.

This year’s event, the 37th anniversary, will once again start in City Park at Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the traditional marade route will flow east on East Colfax Avenue to Civic Center Park, specifically the 1400 block of Bannock Street.

Organized by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission – Metro Denver, the 2022 program, “A Day On Not A Day Off: Renewed Dedication to Humanity,” commences at 9:30 a.m. and a food bank collection, hygiene drive and clothing collection will take place at both locations, organizers said in a news release.

There will be a laying of the wreath ceremony at the MLK memorial at 10:30 a.m. and the marade is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m. with the Civic Center segment, featuring entertainment, awards and celebration, at noon.

Organizers expect the crowd to be smaller, because of COVID-19 concerns, than in years past. Participants are expected to wear face masks. Parts of Civic Center Park remains cordoned off  for rehabilitation work and the downtown event will be on Bannock Street along the Denver City and County Building. On Monday, parts of the east side of the park, along Broadway, will be open to allow for the anticipated heavy foot traffic and the Greek Theatre portion of the park will also be open to accommodate celebrants.

Former Denver Mayor Welliington Webb and former state Rep. Wilma Webb, D-Denver, will be the featured speakers. A vaccination bus and voter registration and information efforts will be part of the day. At 1 p.m. participants will help clean-up the park and Civic Center and many celebrants will embark on Dr. MLK Service Projects.

Denver’s MLK celebration is among the largest in the nation. Although the coronavirus stopped the marade last year, organizers fed hot meals to about 5,000 people over the course of a week in King’s honor and memory.

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