ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — The HFV Wilson Community Center in Ardmore hosted day-long celebrations for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

The day began with a parade from Martin Luther King Drive to the community center near downtown.

"We always say it's a day of service," said Jamia Cody, HFV Wilson Community Center executive director. "Being able to give back and be a beacon of light ... all year-round, not just for one day. I think it's amazing to be able to honor him."

For the annual celebration, the community commemorates a theme for the year to reflect Dr. King's message. For 2023, the theme is: "Together, we can be the dream."

Keynote speaker Chauvin Aaron highlighted individuals in Ardmore's history who have made a difference within the city.

"Mrs. Mentha Mitchell Varner paved the way ... [her] selfless service to the community is evidence of what is possible here in Ardmore when we work together to be the dream," Aaron said.

As many nationwide reflect Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, the message of his "I Have a Dream" speech still resonates with Jamia Cody nearly 60 years later.

"I always speak love, and I speak positivity, and I think that's huge whenever it comes to our nation as a whole," Cody said. "We want to look solely look at the content of their character and who they are as a person. So being able to just lend a hand to our neighbor and love our neighbor, more importantly."