Lake area honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of celeb - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Area honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with celebration

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As hundreds of bands, schools and local organizations paraded through downtown Lake Charles, hundreds more lined up to watch. 

"This is just a great, fun, activity where it's so close and you know everybody," said Lake Charles resident, Pat Shelton. 

As Shelton watches the floats go by, she reflects on when Dr. King gave his famed 'I Have a Dream' speech in 1963.

"Some of the things he said 50 years ago, I see happening now," said Shelton. "It almost took 50 years but change does come if we just be patient."

Possibly one of the greatest symbols of that change, the nation's first African American President, Barack Obama, sharing the date of his second inauguration with the national observance of Dr. King's legacy. A significant coincidence resonating with Monday's parade-goers. 

"It's all coming together, it's coinciding, so that's a beautiful thing," Shelton said. 

"America is a great place," said Carl Taylor, a Lake Charles resident. "Not just because of what Dr. King did, but because of what Barack Obama has done for this country."

"Hey, Obama is doing his inauguration today and everything!" said Harold Thibodeaux. "It's one day at a time but things will change, hopefully."

The celebration didn't end with the parade, but the fun continued inside the Lake Charles Civic Center with games, live music and a SWLA favorite; a gumbo cook-off. 

With food galore, games for kids and vendors of every kind, organizers of MLK's family day say it was a success. Still through all the food and fun, it's important to know what it's all for. 

"The deeper meaning that MLK wanted and that everyone needs to take is that we all have to- we're one America," said Shelton. "We all have to come together and love one another and that's the bottom line ... love."

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