The indelible mark that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made on the Civil Rights Movement cannot be overstated, and as a country, we honor his life and legacy on the federal holiday named for him, Monday, January 17. (His birth date is actually January 15, 1929.)
And while several North Texas-area parades planned for the day or preceding weekend have gone virtual or cancelled due to the latest surge in the pandemic, several municipalities, community organizers and local NAACP chapters are going forward with their scheduled parades and programs honoring the late civil rights pioneer. See below for where to watch parades in-person or digitally, and we’ll update our listings here as other news may be announced.
Happy birthday, Dr. King.
When: Saturday, January 15, 10–11:30am
Where: Carrollton City Hall, 1945 E. Jackson Road
What to know: Drew Pearson, former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, serves as grand Marshall for this 28th annual parade through Carrollton. The route begins on Rainwater Lane (behind Carrollton City Hall), heads west to Josey Lane; south on Josey Lane to Keller Springs Road; east on Keller Springs Road to Kelly Boulevard; south on Kelly Boulevard to end at Ted Polk Middle School (2001 Kelly Boulevard). A program starts at 11:30am after the parade.
When: Saturday, January 15, 10am parade, 12:30pm program
Where: Parade starts on Dairy Road at Garden Drive and ends at the Granville Arts Center, 330 N. Fifth Street
What to know: The 33rd annual parade theme is aptly “Honoring Dr. King During COVID-19.” Follow the parade to the Granville Arts Center where the celebration hosted in partnership with the NAACP Garland Branch. The event features a musical performance called “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” from the MLK Community-wide Youth Choir and GISD Fine Arts students. They’ll also be announcing winners of the 2022 MLK Float Contest.
When: Monday, January 17, 10–11:30am
Where: Broadcast on local public access channels
What to know: Following a week of celebration events (most of them virtual), the parade broadcast will be a pre-recorded one. It’s a compilation of videos and pictures depicting MLK Day parades of the past. There will be interviews with local officials and activities, including Ms. Opal Lee, discussing the 2022 theme “40 Years Strong: A Look Toward the Future.”
When: Saturday, January 15, 11am
Where: Village Creek Park, 4750 Walbarger St., Fort Worth
What to know: The community-organized parade—separate from the downtown Fort Worth parade that was recently cancelled—plans to also have a kids zone, live DJ, food vendors and more entertainment. Follow the event page on Facebook for updates.
When: Monday, January 17, 10am
Where: Grand Prairie City Hall Plaza, 317 College St.
What to know: The Grand Prairie NAACP presents the 2022 parade, kicking off at City Hall Plaza and concluding at David Daniels Elementary School. The parade ends around 11am, after which you can stay to watch the program across the street at Dalworth Recreation Center, 2012 Spikes Street.
When: Saturday, January 15, 10am
Where: Mesquite Arts Center, 1527 N. Galloway Ave.
What to know: The theme for this fifth annual parade is “Stand Up, Be One.” It begins on the south side of Mesquite High School near Gross Street and South Bryan Beltline Road and then down Main Street, followed by a 1pm program at the Mesquite Arts Center.
When: Sunday, January 16, 6pm
Where: Irving Arts Center, Carpenter Hall, 3333 North MacArthur Blvd.
What to know: There’s no parade for this one, but we thought it was well worth inclusion here. The City of Irving holds a special event featuring speeches from winners of the local MLK essay contest and performances by the Dallas Black Dance Theater, and vocalist/speaker Kamica King performing under the theme “Reaching the Mountain Top.” Stay for a short reception after the event that include some sweet treats that Dr. King’s is known to have loved most. Click here to watch the virtual observance program from 2021.
Photo courtesy of MLK Day Parade Dallas, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center