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Charlotte gears up for annaul Martin Luther King Day observances
Events highlight and promote spirit of inclusion
Published Monday, January 14, 2019 3:00 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

Charlotte's annual Martin Luther King parade is a highlight of the southeast's largest MLK celebration.

The Southeast’s largest celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. starts Jan. 15 in Charlotte.

The annual MLK celebration opens with four days of free, family-friendly events designed to promote inclusiveness in our community.

“The MLK weekend is an opportunity to celebrate the growing diversity of our city and county,” said Delores Reid-Smith, chairwoman of the organizing committee for the 2019 Atrium Health MLK National Holiday Celebration. “We will also spotlight the grassroots leaders who continue Dr. King’s legacy by working to address issues of equity and economic mobility in our community.”

Calendar of events:

Jan. 15
MLK memorial service

The celebrations kick off at 12 p.m. with a wreath-laying ceremony at the MLK statue in Marshall Park.
MLK Holiday Parade

More than 90 marching bands, step teams and other organizations will travel along Tryon Street starting at 10 a.m. in the 39th annual MLK holiday parade through uptown. The procession will begin at Ninth Street and end at Stonewall Street.
Call to service

The 2019 Atrium Health MLK National Holiday Celebration also includes the United Way of Central Carolinas’ MLK Call to Service, a drop-in community service event beginning at noon on Saturday at four locations:

• East Mecklenburg High School, 6800 Monroe Road.

• Marie G. Davis K-8 School, 3351 W. Griffith St.

• Renaissance West Steam Academy, 3241 New Renaissance Way.

• Blythe Elementary School, 12202 Hambright Road in Huntersville.

The call to service benefits Charlotte-Mecklenburg nonprofits.

Jan. 19
Growing the Dream award ceremony

The Growing the Dream Award Ceremony is a luncheon held to recognize unsung heroes and community members who work to foster unity and promote diversity and multiculturalism in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The free event will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Johnson C. Smith University’s Biddle Hall, but space is limited.

Please Educate All Children Equally (P.E.A.C.E) basketball showcase

Eight high school teams from across the Carolinas will play four games at Second Ward Gymnasium, 710 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The schedule of games:

• 2 p.m.: West Charlotte High School girls vs. Rock Hill High School girls.

• 4 p.m.: Harding University High School boys vs. Charlotte Elite boys.

• 5 p.m.: Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy boys vs. Comenius School for Creative Leadership boys.

• 7 p.m.: Rocky River High School boys vs. West Mecklenburg High School boys.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Children 5 years old and younger are free.

Jan. 21
National observance, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Arts and Writing Contest Awards and the 2019 Medallion Award

The celebration will culminate in the national observance, including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Arts and Writing Contest awards and the Medallion Award at 10 a.m., Central Piedmont Community College’s Halton Theater.

CMS students will honor King’s advocacy of nonviolent protests through poetry, dance and works of art. The Medallion Award is given to members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community who exemplify King’s ideals.

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