PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Downtown Palm Springs was buzzing Saturday. Hundreds of people lined Palm Canyon for the 31st annual Black History Month parade.
“I can’t even explain how proud we are,” said Monica Turner.
Turner's father, the late James. O Jessie, founded the parade. Turner recalled being a young girl when she first marched in the parade.
“We started with a music box. Actually, we would borrow, who’s now my husband, [we would] pick up his big old boom box, and that was our music,” Turner said.
The family said they're continuing Jessie's legacy as they watch the parade grow tremendously over the years.
“It’s important to us to keep my husbands dream alive. He’s the one who started it in the north end [of Palm Springs] among just a neighborhood and praise the lord, we were able to extend it to Palm Canyon,” Georgia Jessie said, James O. Jessie's wife.
Marching bands and performers celebrated the African American culture and the accomplishments of local leaders, like Alvin Taylor, the grand marshal of the parade. Taylor was also honored with the 424th Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars Saturday. He's best known for his role as a drummer, producer and musical director.
Meanwhile a town fair was held at Frances Stevens Park in Palm Springs.
“They have vendors, food, fun stuff for the kids. It’s amazing,” said Ana Lopez, from Cathedral City.