DENVER (CBS4) – The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission says they put on the largest MLK Day Marade in the country. More than 50,000 people marched in celebration of King’s life this year.
“It’s a lot of commotion, a lot of people! It’s empowering because you have all these people coming together for the same exact thing – unity,” said Stefanie Postell, a first-time volunteer marshal.
Denver police plays a large role in maintaining the Marade’s safety, but with so many people marching, more security is always appreciated.
Every Saturday before the Marade, a group of volunteer marshals undergo hands-on training developed by the U.S. Department of Justice. It involves learning how to diffuse tense situations in large crowds.
“The marshals came early in the morning. We’re talking 6 or 7 o’clock to get checked in. They got their radios, their assignments, their hats,” explained Deputy Marade Commander Christian Steward.
More than 50 volunteers wearing bright, red hats left City Park Monday morning with their assignments. While police patrolled the streets, marshals walked the Marade route.
“They’re the safety of our Marade. They’re the eyes and the ears. If there’s an emergency, they’re the ones that get it up the chain of command and we’re able to take care of it,” said Steward.
With those red hats comes a lot of responsibility. Volunteers say they do it so others can enjoy the Marade in peace.
“They want to do more than just participate, they actually want to be responsible for us having a great time. Dr. King was all about love. They want to be a part of this incredible march and all of them keep coming back for that reason,” said Steward.
Marshalls say Dr. King dedicated his life to service, one day is the least they could do.
“It’s nice to do service for the community, and for the cause, in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said volunteer marshall Andrew Malveaux.
There were 55 marshals walking the marade Monday morning. Steward said this year’s crowd was well-behaved and didn’t cause the volunteers any trouble.