HOUSTON - MLK weekend got off to a lively start Saturday afternoon with the 14th Annual MLK Youth Parade in Midtown.
Cheerleaders, dance troupes and politicians rolled and danced down San Jacinto Street along with 13 marching bands and 100 performance teams.
They were led by the United States Air Force Honor Guard visiting from Washington, D.C.
Thousands of spectators were there supporting local teams and groups visiting from Louisiana. There were also several first-time marchers.
“[She’s] probably overly excited to be here for the first time,” says one participant’s father Desmon Mathis. “I really enjoyed her coming down in the parade.”
Organizer Charles Stamps was excited about the honor guard’s performance, but was keeping close eyes on the skies.
"Let’s just hope the rain holds off,” said Stamps.
But as the bands marched on, clouds rolled in, and the parade was cut short for the first time in its history.
"It’s usually like 30 to 45 minutes,” said one spectator, “but it was like 20 minutes.”
"I think it was okay it was just a little short,” says the grandmother of a participant, Shalla Bass. "And we were expecting horses and stuff like that.”
Stamps says they were able to fit in the majority of the acts by speeding up the performances as warnings were being sent in from the National Weather Service.
Some spectators plan to pick up the fun at The MLK Parade Foundation’s 6th Annual MLK Grande Parade on Monday at 10 a.m. It will also take place in Midtown at the same starting point at San Jacinto Street and Elgin Street.
The 42nd Annual MLK Day Parade is also happening downtown on Monday and starts at 10 a.m.