DENVER (CBS4)– Tens of thousands of Coloradans are expected to march through Denver Monday morning to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the 35th annual Marade. It’s one of the largest celebrations in the nation.

Dr. King was an equal rights activist and Christian minister who had a dream of an America without discrimination and segregation. He led the civil rights movement from 1955, up until his assassination in Memphis in 1968 when he was 39 years old.

(credit: CBS)

This year’s theme is “Renewed Dedication to Humanity” and the Marade will be emceed by two Colorado students. The Marade will start at City Park with an opening ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.

(credit: CBS)

An estimated 50,000 to 75,000 people were expected to attend.

Among them were teachers and students from the Denver Public School District.

Superintendent Susan Cordova says the district is working to promote equality as one of its highest priorities. The district says it participates annually in the event.

On Monday, organizers talked about this year’s theme, “It represents what Colorado has always been about. We’re a mile high closer to heaven and a mile high above everybody else in civil rights and struggle.”

(credit: CBS)

LINK: MLK Jr. Marade

The annual event has filled Denver’s streets since the 1980s.

Beginning at 1 p.m., volunteers are needed for the “Get to Cleanin’, Remembering Memphis” Day of Service Community Project to remove litter from the Marade route and surrounding neighborhoods.

RELATED LINK: Stock Show’s MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo On Jan. 20

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