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MLK Day observances underway here

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will be held Jan. 15 but a host of activities precede it and a food truck event has been added to the holiday agenda itself.

Veteran Barnesville city councilman Christopher Hightower is heading up the local event and reports this year’s them is ‘Shifting the cultural climate through the study and practice of Kingian nonviolence’.

“In addition to commemorating and celebrating the life of Dr. King, we are also challenged to study and practice the values of Dr. King beyond the holiday celebration. I hope that the spirit of justice, unity and peace from the King holiday will continue to permeate locally and globally,” Hightower said.

The celebration begins Friday, Jan. 12 with youth leadership conference at Gordon State College beginning at 10:30 a.m. Two former youth ambassadors who attended local conferences in the past will deliver addresses.

They are Dr. Tankia Mathis Long, an attending anesthesiologist and owner of No Limits Anesthesia, Inc., and Dr. Omari Bandele, senior science advisor for toxicology with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Local officials will greet the high school seniors at the event.

The MLK commemorative service will be held Sunday, Jan. 14 at Bethel Baptist Church on Johnstonville Road. Dr. Jerry Black, senior pastor at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, will deliver the keynote address. Music will be led by Chris Collier and Justice Carter. The service will honor local pastors who are this year’s Dream Keepers.

The traditional King Day march will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. at the E.P. Roberts Center on Mill Street. Marchers will walk to the courthouse for the MLK Day program. The keynote speaker there will be Adarian Fambro, an LCHS grad who is now a senior at Morehouse College and works with various groups and NAACP chapters as a voting and civil rights activist.

Following the march, food trucks will be staged at Ritz Park by the local chamber of commerce from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Vendors confirmed are Rolling Thai, Carbart’s K-Dogs, Smoke Time Signature BBQ and Bel-Air Potato Bar.

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