If you're Facebook friends with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, then you were treated to an invitation Wednesday to an event he seems to relish. After all, he calls it his celebration Huddle with Hancock.
The mayor and, coincidentally, former Denver Broncos mascot, leads a throng of public officials and everyday folks in the Denver Marade. The annual stroll of celebration stretches from the foot of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in City Park to Civic Center Park downtown.
The marade — march meets parade — begins 8:30 a.m., though marchers won't leave the park until around 10:30 a.m. Festivities wrap up around 1 p.m. at Civic Center’s Greek Theater. The weather is expected to be nice, with a high near 51.
Denver's celebration of the slain civil rights leader's birthday is one of thousands across the country, but the city celebrates in a Denver way, beyond walking together down the street. The National Western Stock Show puts on the MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo of Champions for black cowboys Monday at 6 p.m.
Among the groups organizing their members to participate in the marade is One Colorado, the state's largest advocacy organization for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer Coloradans. The organization is organizing its marchers at the I Have a Dream Memorial in City Park at 10 a.m.
In a statement released before last year's march, Hancock said:
“Dr. King’s impact on American consciousness looms large still because his mission and vision was a righteous one. He dreamed of an America made great, not by appealing to our divisions, but to our common humanity. We are called every day to be the dream. Perhaps most important, Dr. King and the freedom riders sacrificed so that we could all exercise our right to vote and participate in shaping positive change.
“Ignoring the sacrifice of Dr. King, ignoring our veterans who shed blood for the right to vote, not only dishonors their legacy — it weakens our democracy to the very core. In the face of that, we will be the dream. Denver will continue to lead the fight for civil rights, the vote, unity, equity and basic fairness. We in Denver, among the first cities to make Dr. King’s birthday a holiday, are united in our commitment to democracy, participation in our community and a better future.”