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Mayor Sylvester Turner Chosen as 2023 Grand Marshal “Climbing the Mountain to a Better Future”


HOUSTON, TEXAS…. The Black Heritage Society, in partnership with the City of Houston, is having its 45th Annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade & Festival on Monday, January 16, 2023, beginning at 10 a.m. The 45th MLK Jr. Parade is free to the public and is held downtown starting on Lamar @Smith Street. The MLK 2023 theme is “Climbing the Mountain to a Better Future.”

This year, the Black Heritage Society has selected Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to serve as Grand Marshal. The Co-Grand Marshals are Rev. Dr. Derek King, nephew of Dr. MLK Jr., Dr. Camille Cash, Houston Plastic Surgeon, and a Memorial Tribute to the Late John Bland!

“The 2023 Original MLK Jr. Day Parade will be the last one held during Mayor Turner’s administration, and the Black Heritage Society believes he is a wonderful representation of Dr. King’s dream. Over the past seven years, Mayor Turner has led our city through natural disasters, pension reform, and creating a more resilient Houston for the future. He also will leave a legacy of unity – bringing together diverse people in our city and putting Houston on the global stage,” said Teresa Brewer with the Black Heritage Society.

The MLK Festival is held immediately following the parade and ends at 5 p.m. at Hermann Park Square at Houston City Hall and is free to the public. The children will enjoy a Day of Service learning about Dr. MLK Jr. There will be food trucks, vendor booths, live music, DJ, youth activities, and more.

The MLK Weekend celebration also includes the Black Heritage Society Gala. The Gala is being held on Saturday, January 14th, at Embassy Suites Katy, 16435 Katy Fwy, Houston, Texas 77094. This evening of elegance will start with a red-carpet reception at 6 p.m., and the Gala begins at 7 p.m. The world-renowned Kashmere Reunion Stage Band will entertain the guests. The honorary speaker is Dr. Derek King, and the keynote speaker is Mayor Sylvester Turner. Also, the Black Heritage Society youth King and Queen winners will be present at the Gala! The tickets are $100.00 per person and $ 50.00 for children. You can purchase tickets online at the following link, The Gala attire is Cocktail or Semi-formal.


The other weekend MLK Celebration is the Gospel Fest Concert on Sunday, January 15, 2023, at Green House International Church, 200 W. Greens Road, Houston, TX 77067. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. with vendors participating in the Gospel Fest Shopping and the Gospel Concert starts at 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. We are excited about the concert line-up, which includes Pastor Robert Morris, Disciple of Christ, Pentecostal of Katy, Marcus Jordan & Divine Favor, and the special guest gospel recording artists are James Fortune, Zacardi Cortez, and Endurance.

The MLK Jr. Day is a Federal Holiday and is cherished and supported by many diverse communities. We invite all media, churches, community leaders, elected officials, schools, non-profits, professional and social organizations, fraternities, sororities, and businesses to join us for the 45th Annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade and Festival.

The Black Heritage Society is pleased to announce that Radio One is again joining them as the official radio partner for the parade. The Radio One stations participating are Majic 102 FM, 97.9 FM The Box, and KROI Praise 92.1.

Some of this year’s corporate sponsors are HEB, McDonald’s, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Allegiance Bank, Citgo, Garcia Hamilton & Associates, Houston Health Department, Rodeo Dental, Camille Cash, M.D., Silver Eagle Distributors, Foston International Communications, Inc., and United Airlines as the official airlines sponsor.

Black Heritage Society dba Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Foundation Inc. is a 501 (C) 3 Organization


2023 MLK Day Celebration Schedule

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Black Heritage Society Gala
6 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m.
Program Embassy Suites Katy
16435 Katy Fwy, Houston, Texas 77094

Sunday, January 15, 2023
MLK Gospel Fest Concert
1:30 p.m. Vendors and Food Trucks 4 p.m.– 7 p.m.
Green House International Church 200 W. Greens Road, Houston TX 77067

Monday, January 16, 2023
45th Annual (The Original) MLK Parade (Downtown starting on Lamar @Smith) 10 a.m.

MLK Festival
Hermann Square Park
900 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002 (Immediately following the Parade)


For more information:
Contact Name: Teresa Brewer, BHS President
Phone number: 281-405-0006

Media Contact: Judy Foston Stanford
Phone Number: 713-446-4391

About Black Heritage Society
In 1974, Ovide Duncantell Jr. founded the Black Heritage Society. He mobilized community leaders and residents to rename South Park Blvd after Martin Luther King Jr. In 1978, and he celebrated the inaugural Parade in the nation to commemorate the milestone. The father of Dr. King, Jr., Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., was the Parade, Marshall.

The re-organization of the Black Heritage Society has restored the integrity, community activist spirit, and faith in its ability to perpetuate the dreams and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the legacy of the late Black Heritage Society’s Founder/Executive Director, Ovide Duncantell.

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