Houstonians gather for 44th annual Original Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade

Here's a look at the MLK parade held in Houston today

HOUSTON – The 44th annual Original Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade took place Monday.

The parade began at 10 a.m. starting at the intersection of Smith and Lamar streets in downtown Houston and ended at 12:30 p.m. The event kicked off with Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul band, followed by dozens of colorful floats, marching bands, and special surprises.

The mayor encouraged people to wear face masks and get tested for COVID-19 before participating in the parade or lining up downtown to watch it.

Vanessa E. Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, accepted the city’s invitation to serve as the 2022 parade grand marshal. In addition, the city saluted and honored African American astronauts who have or will travel to space in the future.

The president of the Black Heritage Society, Teresa Brewer, announced the organization chose Claude Cummings, Jr., Regional Vice President, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Gilbert Andrew Garcia, CFA, Managing Partner, and Al Kashani, President, Horizon United Group as co-grand marshals.

Details released for the 44th annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade and Celebration (KPRC)

“I’m thankful to the City of Houston, Mayor Turner and Black Heritage Society for recognizing me and our African American NASA astronauts who can dream big thanks to leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. who had a bold vision for our nation. At NASA, we promote racial equality, eliminate barriers, and ensure fairness for all, and I’m looking forward to the day we land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface under Artemis,” said Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Wyche is the first African American to lead NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the first African American woman to lead any NASA center.

Parade sponsors include ATT, Radio One, and Allegiance Bank.

Here is a map of the parade route given by the Houston Police Department:

Here is a map of the parade route given by the Houston Police Department. (HPD)

About the Authors:

Mother of two. Award-winning lover of digital storytelling, sparked by my fascination of being a fashionable gossip like my favorite "Willona Woods" character from "Good Times." On the serious side, president of the Houston Association of Black Journalists and dedicated community servant. Happy to share the news with you each and every day!