Many families gathered on the streets of Opelousas for the 33rd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
The events included a parade that began at South City Park and ended at Holy Ghost Catholic Church where a program was held.
Parade Organizer, Rebecca D. Henry, said this year’s theme was “The Legacy of Service, The Color of Unity”.
Parade Grand Marshal and Port Barre Elementary Principal, Joseph Sonnier, said this is a day to reflect on the life and legacy of dr. king.””
“We stress so much to the youth today of the struggles and the blood that was shed for our youth for all of our freedom. Not just for blacks, but as a nation,” said Sonnier.
King’s teachings have been passed on through the years.
Parade Organizer, Rebecca D. Henry, said this event was among the first created in Acadiana.
She’s happy to see it has grown.
“Education now goes to the different communities. If everyone can’t come to Opelousas well, you can have it in Lafayette, Crowley all of these places and it’s all about education and getting it out to the young people,” said Henry.
Education is a topic that Dr. King stressed.
Sonnier was a janitor for 27 years before becoming a principal.
King’s vision for the future is what motivated him to be where he is today.
“With education we can achieve anything we can and I learned that through education I was able to achieve and become the person I am today,” said Sonnier.
King fought for equality for all.
One of many lessons, Lucille Lavine, said she will pass on to her grandchildren is nonviolence.
“We know in the world that we live in today, it’s violent. That’s a discredit to Dr. King and what he was trying to portray,” said Lavine.
Sonnier said Dr. King’s ideals will continue to be passed on through generations.
“It’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish. Let’s finish strong as a nation,” said Sonnier.