TULSA — Tulsa’s Martin Luther King Day parade this weekend served as a reminder that it is everyone’s responsibility to continue Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and to promote peace and unity.
These are a couple of things Nekki Reagan-Neeley, director of the Student Success Center at OSU-Tulsa, said the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Tulsa means to her.
About 75 OSU-Tulsa students, faculty and staff represented the school in Monday’s 35th annual parade, she said. OSU participants marched next to Pistol Pete and the OSU BOB bus.
The theme for this year’s parade was “Living the Dream! Let freedom ring!”
Reagan-Neeley, who is also on the MLK Jr. Commemoration Society board, has helped with the parade for 15 of the 20 years that she has worked at OSU-Tulsa.
One of OSU-Tulsa’s goals is to be a positive influence in the community, Reagan-Neeley said.
“We’re just putting it out there – just come here,” she said. “This is part of living the dream so freedom can ring.”
There was an overwhelmingly positive response and participation from the crowd, Reagan-Neeley said.
“Everything was just great today,” she said. “Of course the weather played a major part.”
Parade goers packed the sides of Greenwood Avenue and John Hope Franklin Boulevard to watch about 200 groups march in the parade.
Police helicopter pilots estimated about 3,000 people turned out for the event, said Officer Jack Hester of the Tulsa Police Department. Hester said he believes the number was higher than that estimate.
Sheila Washington was one of the many parade goers. Monday’s parade was her 30th time to attend the event.
“I used to march with the company I worked for,” Washington said. “Now I come to watch my grandchildren in bands, playing drums, doing pom-poms, and competing in the Miss Black Tulsa event.”