DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Marches, rallies and a rodeo were planned to mark Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in Colorado.

The festivities began with a large gathering at the MLK statue in City Park Monday morning. People then marched in Denver’s annual “Marade” — a combination march and parade from City Park to Civic Center Park.

It’s the 29th year the Marade was held in Denver, which boasts one of the largest MLK celebrations in the nation.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, Mayor Michael Hancock and Former Mayor Wellington Webb’s family were all in attendance. Wilma Webb also spoke, encouraging people to continue to come out in strong numbers for MLK events.

PHOTO GALLERY: Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Marade’

The focus of Denver’s event was wealth disparities between the rich and poor, a critical issue for King.

“This is good because this is not a black holiday. This is not something just for the African-American community,” a woman said. “So it’s wonderful seeing all generations and all races because that’s who Martin Luther King was. It was about character. It was about all of humanity.”

Marches also took place in Lafayette and at Colorado State University.

The National Western Stock Show will host the Martin Luther King Jr. African-American Rodeo of Champions at 6 p.m.

In Colorado Springs, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and the local Gospel Music Workshop of America choir will give a free performance at Colorado College at 7 p.m.

Admission to national parks is also free for the holiday.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 


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