Martin Luther King Jr. Day events happening in central Alabama

FILE - In this April 3, 1968 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. The following day King was assassinated on his motel balcony. In a new memoir, "My Life with the Kings: A Reporter's Recollections of Martin, Coretta and the Civil Rights Movement," retired Associated Press reporter Kathryn Johnson describes many civil rights flashpoints that she covered in the 1960s, and details her close relationship with the movement’s leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and his family. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Martin Luther King Junior Day is a federal holiday always held on the third Monday of January. The day celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Junior and is a day that encourages unity. Cities in central Alabama have many special events to commemorate Dr. King beginning on Friday.

Friday, January 13

  • The City of Gadsden will hold a Unity/Martin L. King Junior Day Parade beginning at 1 p.m.

Saturday, January 14

  • The Martin Luther King Day 5k Drum Run/Walk will start and finish at Kelly Ingram Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

Sunday, January 15

  • Recreation of the Original 1963 March on Governance will be at Kelly Ingram Park starting at noon.
  • “Reflect and Rejoice: Letter from Birmingham Jail” will be held at the Jemison Concert Hall in the Alys Stephens Center beginning at 3 p.m. The event sponsored by the BCRI & the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Monday, January 16

  • The Birmingham Zoo is inviting the community to give back to those in need in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Visitors will receive half-price admission and can enjoy the Zoo for only $8.00 (plus tax) for adults, $7.00 (plus tax) for senior citizens 65 years and older and military, and $5.50 (plus tax) for children ages 2 to 12-years-old by donating any non-perishable or canned food item in support of the Zoo’s United Way Canned Food Drive. Guests must bring one item per person to receive the discount.
  • The 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast will be from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the BJCC North Meeting Hall. If you plan to attend, email your reservation to Tickets are $30.00 for individuals and $240.00 for a table of eight attendees.
  • Martin L. King Jr. March and Program will be held at the A.P. Howell Coke Oven Park in Jasper. The march will begin at noon at the park. Marchers will follow the established route from years past, which will take them onto Martin Luther King Jr Drive to 19th Street in downtown Jasper.
  • The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Nu Chapter, will hold a wreath laying ceremony in Kelly Ingram Park beginning at 9:45 a.m. Brothers will recite poems, speeches and walk to Dr. King’s statue.
  • The city of Fairfield will hold a Save Our City campaign during the Martin L. King Jr Annual Day of Service. People who live in the city have been asked to participate in projects throughout the city. Projects will be assigned at Fairfield City Hall.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Walk will be held at Railroad Park. The three-mile walk will stop at key landmarks and sites to discuss the significance of the day.
  • Martin L. King, Jr. Day March and Program will be held at the Montevallo City Hall. It will begin at 9:30  a.m.

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