BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Eighty-five years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. was born. On Monday, the nation pauses to honor the civil rights leader’s legacy. Baltimore is celebrating in a big way.

Monique Griego has more from the parade route.

The good weather really brought out the crowds, as thousands of people came out for the parade. Now decades after his death, a new generation is learning his message.

The energy is electric. And the mood is definitely one of a celebration, as thousands of people lined Martin Luther King Blvd. for a parade to honor the life and legacy of the civil rights leader.

“It’s great to see so many people,” said Cheryl Eury, spectator.

“I just love all of it, the people, the atmosphere, the marching bands,” said Leander Scott, spectator.

“This is Baltimore, this is what people do. They come out and celebrate and have fun together, right?” said Helene Cocchena, spectator.

This is the 14th annual MLK parade in Baltimore.

Every year, the crowds seem to grow bigger as more and more people introduce a new generation to the message behind the holiday.

“It’s not only a day out of school, it’s our history and I brought them here to see and understand the history,” said John Palaviyik, spectator.

“So that it continues, the history continues and they know exactly what we’re celebrating,” said Cheryl Sedgewick, spectator.

While the wide variety of floats and entertainment grab the kids’ attention, they are well aware of what Dr. King stood for and why it’s important for people to honor him.

“He never gave up. He had faith in everyone and he stood up for his standards,” said Johnae Cooley.

“They should celebrate MLK’s speech about having a dream to have peace in this world,” said Christopher Price-Burnette.

From the bands to the dancers, the parade brings together many local groups, including Dr. King’s Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity that performed a step routine.

It’s a fitting tribute for a man who helped changed so much.

In all, more than 50 groups participated in Monday’s parade.

The MLK parade is presented by several organizations, including Forman Mills, the Baltimore Office of Civil Rights & Wage Enforcement and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

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