Downtown Celebrates MLK Day

“It’s one thing to have the holiday, and it’s another thing entirely to see so many people out here supporting the cause,” a man said as he walked by.

There were, in fact, so many people watching the 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in downtown Las Vegas that I couldn’t chase that man down to ask his name for fear of losing my place. The Associated Press reported that some 18,000 people were expected to come out this morning to “support the cause”—to celebrate Dr. King’s dream of unity and equality. The proof of King’s convictions lined the parade route, five to six people deep: Las Vegans of all colors and beliefs, cheering wildly for this Valley’s students, police and fire departments, military personnel, local politicians and even some actors in pirate costumes. There were gospel choirs and dance teams, motorcyclists and cowboys on horseback—all proudly marching in support of a unified community.

Here are photos of but a few of the thousands of Las Vegans celebrating MLK in DTLV today. And if you’re out there, sir: Yes, indeed, it’s a good thing to see so many people supporting the cause of equality … and better still to see them infusing that support with such an abundance of joy.

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I stood at the food-truck window in the early December dark, my breath coming in white puffs. Inside the truck, a smiling, dark-haired woman scooped a generous helping of freshly griddled egg, spiced potato and chorizo into a warm tortilla, whipping it together into a hand-held meal with satisfying heft. “It’s hot,” she warned. This wasn’t one of the trendy trucks that shook up the Vegas culinary scene over the past two years. There was no hip graffiti art on the truck’s white flanks, no winking innuendos in the truck’s name—just simple lettering: A.1. MOBILE CATERING.