SAN DIEGO — The 41st Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade honoring the birth, life and legacy of Dr. King was held along the Embarcadero Sunday afternoon.

This was the first year the parade was held since the pandemic.

This year’s theme was “Keeping the Dream Alive, We’re Better Together.”

The parade drew hundreds of performers, local organizations, sponsors and city leaders, including San Diego City Mayor Todd Gloria.

San Diego Police, San Diego Sheriff’s Department and dozens more also attended.

“This parade, it means there’s hope for the future that we really can all come together and get along,” said Brian Samuels, parade chairman and vice president of the San Diego Alpha Foundation.

Despite pouring rain about halfway through the parade, the rain-or-shine event continued on.

“It’s a celebration of unity, of freedom, of equality it’s a celebration of togetherness, I think those are things Dr. King embodied and what he tried to put out into the world and we just want to continue that and keep it going,” Samuels explained.

The parade brought unique floats to shine a light on Dr. King’s legacy, Keyera Ballad is one of the students at San Diego College of Continuing Education who designed and welded a float with a rotating globe made out of metal and flags representing various countries.

“I worked mainly on the latitude of the globe,” Ballad said. “This is like the biggest accomplishment I ever did in my life.”

“The float is designed to take MLK’s message of unity throughout the globe,” said Mike Bradbury, welding instructor at San Diego College of Continuing Education.

“We are the world, we are just always going to be united, never try to judge anyone on what race or color they are and just always try to be together,” Ballard said.