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Brownwood holds 5th annual MLK Day parade, ceremony

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BROWNWOOD, Texas - Dozens in Brownwood participated in the Fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and ceremony.

The festivities began at 9:45 a.m. Monday with a march from the Bennie Houston Community Center to the MLK Plaza located on West Austin Avenue.

This year's theme was keeping King's dream alive and improving race relations in Brownwood and Brown County.

"Let's let 2017 be a year where we stop being afraid, where we kill the fear and we begin an open dialogue to improve race relations," Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes said.

Several law enforcement leaders echoed the mayor's words asking for the community to unite.

"We're one team, we're together, and I want to give you that as my word," Brown County Sheriff Vance Hill said.

"It's not a matter of race," said Assistant Chief of the Brownwood Police Department James Fuller. "It's a matter of being family. Let's all be family."

Councilman Draco Miller was instrumental in launching the MLK Day events. Along with the non-profit he helped start, Revitalizing Our Community, they have started a tradition for the city.

"Let's look beyond the pigmentation of our skin and look at the person themselves," Miller said.

Singers also serenaded the crowd with music in between the breaks of speakers.

Rev. Eddy Hays gave Monday's keynote address, ending the day's ceremonies with a tribute to King's legacy.

"The perfect world that Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned has not been realized yet," Hays said. "It's a world where men will be judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin."

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