LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day was marked Monday by the 39th Kingdom Day Parade, service projects, a festival in Leimert Park and a scheduled Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
The 3-mile parade began at 10 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and concluded near the K Line's Leimert Park Station.
The theme was "Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Going to the Promised Land."
The grand marshal was Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who represents the Second District, which includes the parade route.
The Disney character Princess Tiana was the honorary grand marshal. Disneyland had a procession in the parade with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and more than 200 Disney employees participating.
Metro's representation in the parade included its replica of the General Motors "old look" bus Rosa Parks was riding on in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to white passengers, sparking the Montgomery bus boycott.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation spotlighted housing affordability, gentrification and homelessness and aimed to win support for an initiative it is seeking to place on the November ballot to remove local restrictions against rent control.
The foundation's float featured the downtown L.A. skyline and a quote from a 1966 speech by King at Chicago's Soldier Field during a rally in support of ending discrimination in housing and lending, "We are here today because we are tired. Tired of paying more for less."
The parade is billed by organizers as the "world's largest and longest-running life celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King." It was organized by the Congress Of Racial Equality of California, a civil rights organization whose goals include combating the abuse of police authority, "education as a civil right for our youth" and seeking to eliminate tensions between Black and Hispanic youths.
A Mass commemorating King's call for service will be celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 3 p.m.
"Today, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who brought transformative change to the country and the world on behalf of our most vulnerable communities," Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. "Now, as we confront the homelessness crisis on our streets, we must continue Dr. King's mission. The inequality is staggering, with more than 70% of unhoused Angelenos being people of color. While we celebrate the legacy of Dr. King today, we must recommit to confronting this crisis of our time. Bringing unhoused Angelenos inside is a matter of life or death."
City News Service contributed to this report.