Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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January 22, 2014

Unity parade on the march

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A bright winter sun almost seemed to offer a warm welcome to anyone taking in a parade Monday meant to celebrate unity on the streets of Wynnewood.

The special parade capped off three days worth of events intended to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and this week’s holiday in his honor.

With the sounds of emergency vehicle sirens to Wynnewood’s school band to a number of community groups marching in the parade, people watching from the downtown sidewalks got more than just a good view.

They appeared to be united in the belief a parade celebrating unity is a good thing for everyone.

Tianea Williams liked the idea behind a parade that celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. and unity for all the people of a community. She liked it so much she decided to show up and check it out for herself.

“I like the sound of it,” she said, referring to King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and a parade in its honor.

“It’s all about showing God’s love and coming together. That’s what this is all about.”

“I think it’s a good thing, something really good for Wynnewood,” Nadine Mack said.

“I think it’s great,” said Nancy Turner.

“Anything that brings the community together is a good thing,” she added.

Kelie Knowles agreed as found a good place to watch the parade.

“It brings the community together again, celebrates our unity,” Knowles said.

“It’s only the first year but I think it’s going to get bigger.”

Even Wynnewood’s law enforcement, while on the job, agreed a unity event is something that’s pretty good.

Local police Chief Ken Moore had a good place to see the parade as he was among the officers working traffic to keep the parade route clear.

“I think it’s a good event, to honor Martin Luther King Jr.,” Moore said.

“He’s done more for civil rights than anyone else.”

The idea of doing something to celebrate King and his message of unity came from Rev. Jokori Taylor, who pastors at the local Hopewell Church.

“I loved every minute of it,” Taylor said moments after the parade. “There’s a first time for everything.”

This was in fact the first ever parade of its kind in Wynnewood.

It wasn’t, however, alone as the overall event included special gatherings this past weekend.

Activities included a banquet and “diversity” church service on Saturday, followed by a second community service Sunday afternoon.

Also on Monday, Wynnewood alum Scott Rowland, who is currently the first assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County, addressed a number of people gathered shortly after the parade.

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