LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - A tribute to slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took place in Laurel Saturday, despite some doubt earlier in the week that it would happen. An annual parade along Beacon Street celebrating the birthday of Dr. King featured marching bands, church buses, motorcycles and horses.
A few days ago, city officials told parade organizers the event would not be allowed because they failed to submit a parade permit on time. But, after meeting with the mayor, they received a waiver, which was good news to the hundreds of spectators who lined the streets to watch the parade.
"Well, I was afraid they weren't going to have the parade," said Lawrence Taylor, one of the spectators. "But, thank God, it is (taking place) and it's so important to us," he said.
"It was a great parade today," said Polly Windham, another spectator. "We were always hopeful from the beginning that things were going to come together and work out for the good of the people, and that's what it's about," she said.
High school marching bands from Laurel, Hattiesburg, Hazelhurst and Port Gibson participated.
And in Marion County, the local branch of the NAACP also hosted an annual event in honor of Dr. King. A memorial parade through the heart of downtown Columbia Saturday afternoon featured buses from several churches, youth groups and some service organizations.
Many parade participants threw candy and other treats to the spectators.