CENTRAL TEXAS (KXAN) — With Monday marking the observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, communities across Central Texas are commemorating the civil rights icon’s legacy with celebrations and festivities.
However, in the wake of the latest coronavirus surge, some communities have had to cancel or repurpose their ceremonies as virtual or distanced options. Read on for a look, by community, at celebrations being held in honor of MLK Day.
Austin MLK Day Livestream
The Austin Area Heritage Council will host a livestream at 10:45 a.m. Monday to recognize the legacy and contributions King made to the American civil rights movement. The event will include music performances from Blue Vinyl Crates, speeches from motivational speakers and sentiments shared by community leaders.
Pease Park Conservancy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Food Drive
On Monday, the Pease Park Conservancy will honor King’s memory with a food donation drive, benefitting the Central Texas Food Bank. The drive will run from 9-11 a.m. at Pease Park.
Volunteers will help collect canned food from park visitors. To learn how to volunteer, click here.
Learn how you can get help from Central Texas Food Bank online here.
Alpha Phi Alpha Wreath Laying
The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will lay a wreath next to the civil rights activist’s statue on the UT campus at 8:30 a.m. The group said since the parade and festival in MLK Jr’s honor were both canceled, it “wants to honor our brother with this small gesture.”
Alpha Phi Alpha was the first historically Black fraternity, founded at Cornell University in 1906.
MLK Day Parade & Street Festival
The city of Leander will host its first MLK Day Parade & Street Festival Monday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Staged in Old Town Leander, the event will include a community parade, festival, marketplace and performances.
The free event is centered around the theme of “Community Unity – Bright & Bold,” city officials wrote.
MLK Car Parade
Lockhart’s District 1 Pride Neighborhood Association will host its 19th annual MLK Day celebration. This year’s event will follow in line with last year’s format of a car parade in place of a march, due to current coronavirus case levels.
The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Seawillow Road and MLK Boulevard before proceeding to the Lockhart Municipal Court and Lockhart City Park. Prior to the onset of the march, Lockhart Mayor Lew White will read a proclamation, while pastor and Lockhart City Council Member David Bryant will lead a prayer and balloon release.
MLK Day of Service
The United Way of of Greater Austin will host its MLK Day of Service Monday, with the aim of completing individual or group community service projects. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon as part of United We Serve, a presidential call to service initiative nationwide.
Hays County CommonUnity MLK Jr. Festival
The Dunbar Heritage Association will host a community festival Sunday at the Hays County Courthouse in commemoration of King’s memory and legacy. Running from 4-7 p.m., this event marks the first annual Hays County CommonUnity MLK Jr. Festival.
Festivities include vendors, local businesses, entertainment and children’s writing and art competitions honoring his memory.
MLK March & Celebration
Monday’s MLK March & Celebration begins at 9:30 a.m. with a wreath-laying ceremony at the LBJ/MLK Crossroads Memorial. Following the ceremony, a march will make its way through downtown San Marcos to the Dunbar Recreation Center, located at 801 MLK Drive.
The festivities at the Dunbar Recreation Center includes music, displays, vendors and guest speakers. This Monday’s celebration marks the 20th anniversary of the Dunbar Heritage Association hosting its Martin Luther King Jr. March & Celebration.
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