Yakima marks the 25th anniversary of MLK Day with annual parade - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima marks the 25th anniversary of MLK Day with annual parade

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YAKIMA, Wash. – City and community leaders joined families and students in downtown on Monday to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the city's annual parade.

Just before noon, a crowd of more than a hundred began walking east from 5th Ave. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. toward the Yakima Convention Center.

Willette Cheatom is one of the organizers for the yearly event. She says the parade has grown with the city on working toward King's dream but they have yet to properly realize it.

"There's a lot we need to do," she said. "We need to come together as a community to improve some of the aspects of some of the things that are going on around this town."

Participants later attended a free soup lunch at the Southeast Community Center.

Cheatom says she wants more unity in the city but does appreciate the increase in community involvement over years passed.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the holiday and more than 40 years since King was assassinated. The civil rights leader would have turned 82 in 2011.

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