TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Tulsa’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade will march through the city for the 44th year on Monday.
In celebration of the holiday, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society has events planned each day this weekend.
“Tulsa, believe it or not, has the number three largest parade in the US, second only to Chicago and Houston,” Chris Payne, publicity chair of MLK Jr. Commemoration Society, said.
Payne says Tulsa celebrates big because of its history.
“Well, the race massacre that took place here, and Dr. King himself visited Tulsa in the 60s,” Payne said.
Ahead of the parade, the MLK Jr. Commemoration Society organized several events to honor the change King made.
“You hear Dr. King's words and they really resonate even with current events,” Payne said. “You know, we’ve had so much over the last couple of years, and I think race is still very much part of the conversation.”
Friday morning, the society hosted a student leadership forum to educate students on the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.
“We have to know our history or we’re doomed to repeat it, as they say,” Payne said.
“Many of the things he spoke about in his 'I Have a Dream' speech are relevant today,” Pleas Thompson, president of the MLK Commemorative Society in Tulsa, said. “We’re going through many of the same things today, than way back when he gave his speech.”
Andrea Barba, a senior at Union High School, asked not to be on camera but says King’s words are still to live by decades after he first made his "I Have A Dream" speech.
On Monday, the society will hold a community breakfast ahead of the parade at the North Baptist Church in north Tulsa from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will march down Greenwood to honor its history.
“It's kind of connected with the race riot,” Thompson said. “Greenwood is a famous street, and we’d like to include it in the parade.”