MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what would have been his 93rd birthday, the city of Myrtle Beach on Saturday celebrated his legacy with an annual parade.

The MLK Drum Major Parade and several accompanying events are all part of a bigger celebration known as Grand Strand Freedom Week, a five-day celebration honoring the civil-rights activist.

Will Williams, a parade coordinator for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said organizing the parade was right up his alley. It’s something he said he wanted to do to honor both Dr. King and local leaders.

“I think it’s up to the next generation to kind of take the reins,” Williams said.

This year was the 18th year for the parade, which was not held in 2021 because of the pandemic.

“This is our biggest yet, so coming back after COVID it’s really impressive to me that so many businesses have come out to support this cause,” he said.

The Carolina African American Heritage Foundation, the Myrtle Beach chamber and the city collectively organized each event.

“We’ve got diversity from all sectors represented, and it wouldn’t be a true MLK parade without the unity of the business and residential communities coming together,” Williams said.

Williams said he thinks it’s up to the community to bring awareness to the Grand Strand. He also said he’s excited to see the younger generation come forward and help make a change.

“There’s still work that needs to be done,” Williams said. “And it’s up to us to truly diversify this event and bring in all kinds of businesses, small businesses, big businesses, and just show the unity of the Grand Strand.”