North Charleston’s first-ever parade celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. begins this morning at 11, followed by events at Park Circle lasting through the afternoon.

The Rev. Samuel Dennis, chairman of the North Charleston MLK Celebration Committee, said more than 40 groups had signed up to participate in the parade as of late Friday, and calls were still coming in.

In prior years, groups in North Charleston typically participated in tri-county MLK events held in Charleston and other locations, Dennis said.

“We had been having a tri-county celebration, and then three years ago we decided to have our own celebration,” Dennis said. “This is the result.”

The parade will be followed by a Unity Service scheduled at Park Circle, with NAACP vice president for stakeholder relations, the Rev. Dr. Nelson B. Rivers lll, who is also pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church.

There will be music by the Lucus Sisters, and Unity Fun Day at Park Circle events until 4 p.m. including activities for children, a car show, food vendors and entertainment.

Dennis said parade participants range from scouting groups and social clubs to hair salons and motorcycle enthusiasts.

“It is our first one, so we’re letting all sorts of folks come in” to the parade, Dennis said.