HOUSTON – Boxer and business icon George Foreman has been selected as the Grand Marshall for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in downtown Houston, according to the city of Houston.
The parade, dubbed the “original" parade, is hosted by the City of Houston and the Black Heritage Society. It will take place on Monday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon and it’s starting point is at Smith Street and Lamar Street in downtown. You can find more information on the parade website.
The parade will showcase marching bands, decorated floats, dance teams, military and ROTC groups, first responders, city and county officials, VIP guest appearances and notable organizations from around the world, according to the city.
“As a Texas native and having grown up right here in Houston, it’s an honor and privilege to be named the Grand Marshal of The Original MLK Day Parade,” Foreman said in a press release Wednesday.
The “Original” MLK Day Parade in Houston was the very first MLK parade held in the nation, after being sanctioned by the King family in 1978.
Foreman, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Heavyweight Champion, was born in Marshall, Texas but spent his childhood in Houston’s Fifth Ward. He started the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in northeast Houston in 1980, where he continues to serve as an ordained minister. Over 30 years ago, Foreman founded the George Foreman Youth and Community Center, using athletics to keep local kids off the street and out of trouble. He is also a globally-recognized entrepreneur, having products ranging from shoes to the George Foreman Real Time Pain Relief Formula.
"George is a Houston icon. His commitment to the Houston community matched with his ability to persevere, embody the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in the release. “I am excited the champ said yes. We could not think of a better Grand Marshal for this historic event.”
There is a second MLK Day parade, called the MLK Grande Parade, which will happen in Midtown Houston. That will take place between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Jan. 20, and you can find more information about that parade here.