SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) — The 43rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day parade brought thousands of people together to celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights icon.

After years of cancellations due to the pandemic, the 43rd annual MLK Day is back. People young and old packed the streets in Downtown Savannah to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Tenika Bolton, a local resident says this parade finally being back is super exciting for her and her entire family. 

“It feels great to be back outside. This feels so good to have everybody together. It’s been so long since covid and we couldn’t come out and have a good time, now this is MLK Day where we can get out and celebrate, and have a good time.” Bolton said. 

Parade watchers say this event is a representation of how special the hostess city truly is.

Michael Wilson, business owner of “The Monarch” says this parade shows off the hard work of this tight-knit community.

Wilson said, “the MLK parade and the weekend for the city is like the start of the year. It sets the precedent for the town, it builds community involvement. It’s just fun to be around to see not only our community leaders, but just our community members to be aware of the new work that’s being done in our city, so yes it is amazing to be back.”

This day is not only a day for the community to unite as one, but it’s also a day for people to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s American Dream.

“I teach my kids always celebrate where we come from, our heritage, our roots, what we fought for, or what they fought so much for back in the days for us now for us to walk on the streets, to walk in a restaurant and eat wherever we want to, go in the store, and buy whatever we want to, get on the bus and sit wherever we want to, so these are the values I teach my kids today, and that has everything to do with MLK and I appreciate him for that so much,” Bolton said.