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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade had a new look this year, as the route headed downtown for the first time ever.

The parade made the big move from Castle Street to Front Street to attract a bigger crowd. It paid off with thousands lining the sidewalks to catch a glimpse of the parade.

“I think that this is just an awesome occasion,” spectator Alexia Hunter said. “It’s great to see everyone out, and they’re coming to serve for this day and this purpose. It’s just a way to get involved and do something positive. It’s not new to wilmington, but it’s nice to see that there is definitely growth. It’s just an awesome opportunity for people to come out and do something.”

Parade organizers say an estimated 12,000 people came out today making it the largest turnout on record.

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