DENVER — The 2023 Denver Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Marade included a bike tour along several locations that celebrate Black history in the city.
The celebration, which combines a parade and march, has grown to one of the largest events that honors Dr. King in the country.
This year, it was even bigger with the addition of a bike tour across historic landmarks in Denver to tell the story of those who participated in the fight for justice, equality and equity.
Some of the stops included Manuel High School, the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, the Black American West Museum, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Historic Fire Station No. 3.
Assistant Fire Chief Greg Pixley gave Denver7 a tour of the firehouse, located in the heart of Denver's Five Points neighborhood.
"It represents an era, time, that is far beyond us now," said Pixley. "We cherish the history that Station No. 3 brings in terms of what Denver is and what Denver represented at a very dark time in our history."
Historic Fire Station No. 3 in Five Points is the smallest and oldest active fire station in Denver. It was a segregated station and the only one where Black firefighters could work until 1957.
"Unfortunately, it lasted all the way 'til 1957," said Pixley. "And around that time, this firehouse was dedicated specifically to our Black and African American firefighters. Around 1957, we started integration. And it wasn't until the mid 60s we were completely integrated as a fire department. Now things have significantly changed in that amount of time, but the history surrounding Station No. 3 has not changed."
The assistant fire chief says the interior looks the same as it did years ago.
"Same environment, kitchen, bunk room, living space. This is the same area, same design, where firefighters would live in and cook in," he said.
The firehouse continues to be embraced by the neighborhood and community.
"It is a part of our history — a negative part but important part for us to learn from. The pride of this firehouse in the Five Points area has lasted forever and still has a tremendous amount of respect amongst our community members," Pixley said.
Pixley said the Denver Fire Department is proud to be a part of the Marade, a significant event that honors the legacy of Dr. King.
"We appreciate what it represents. We appreciate what Dr. Martin Luther King represented in terms of ensuring that everybody has tremendous equality," he said.