Grand Strand Freedom Week kicks off with annual MLK Parade

Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 5:42 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2023 at 6:10 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Folks from across the Grand Strand grabbed their beach chairs and coats early in the morning to watch the 17th annual Martin Luther King parade.

The parade route went from 15th Avenue North down Ocean Boulevard as temperatures remained low Saturday morning.

MORE COVERAGE | Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with events during Grand Strand Freedom Week

It also featured a record-setting 65 floats along with nine local marching bands.

It is all to honor the life and legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his famous “I Have A Dream Speech” in Washington, D.C. 60 years ago this August.

The Myrtle Beach area has turned the celebration of King into a weeklong event dubbed Grand Strand Freedom Week, put on by the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Officials say the true purpose of the week is to serve as a reminder to communities, and it is seen as a time to give back to those around you.

Those attending the parade also feel it could serve as a teaching moment for younger generations on what unity is all about.

“Seeing the kids join in and celebrate is just heartfelt,” said Wendy Tyson-Wood. “There’s no difference between us. We really want the same thing, and that was proven this entire weekend. Coming to a home going for my best friend. Love unites us. We came on down, and we weren’t disappointed. It was good to see the unity.”