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New activities, new location will mark MLK holiday

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
Events for this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday include a new location and new activities.
This is the 25th annual event and will be held Jan. 17, beginning with a breakfast at the Hurley Family YMCA.
Chairwoman of the King celebration Katherine Fleming said the Event Center where last year’s breakfast was held, was not available.
She said last year’s event was cramped and the YMCA should provide more space.
“The Y was very receptive and were wondering how they could get involved,” Fleming said.
Fleming said there will be some new activities at the civic center including a youth music workshop.
This year’s keynote speaker, Robert J. Brown, head of a marketing and public relations firm, was suggested by one of the event’s sponsors sometime last year, Fleming said.
The parade will follow a brief ceremony at Oak Grove Freedman’s Cemetery. Eleanor Qadirah, who is on the Human Relations Council, said people in the community have said they’d like to see all of the local school bands participate in the parade. She said it’s not too late to join the parade.
For more information about the parade, contact coordinators Terri Stevenson at 704-216-6272 or Deborah Ross-Turbull at 704-245-0499.
The day’s events will end at the Salisbury Civic Center with food, vendors and entertainment. New this year is a youth music workshop where Mac Arnold, a legendary bluesman who played with the Muddy Waters Blues Band, will provide a hands-on demonstration for youths. Arnold, a native of Greenville, S.C., has performed at local festivals including Salisbury.
“The intent is to inform the general public but also talk to them about blues music,” Qadirah said.
She said students who play an instrument are encouraged to bring them.
“We’ve been having events about bringing people together and we thought we might have something for the future generation,” she said.
For more information about activities at the civic center or to become a vendor, contact Eleanor Qadirah at 704-636-2811. Space is limited.
The day’s activities are:
• Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Breakfast. Doors open at 7:15 a.m., and the event begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Hurley Family YMCA, 828 W. Jake Alexander Blvd., Salisbury.
The speaker is Robert J. Brown, founder and CEO of B&C Associates Inc., in High Point. Brown is head of the management consulting marketing research and public relations firm
Area college and university officials will provide reflections on King.
Tickets may be purchased for $8 from any Rowan Salisbury Human Relations Council member, the Salisbury Human Resource office and the Salisbury Visitor’s Center.
Music will be provided by the Community Choir, which is directed by Phillip Burgess of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. A procession will leave the YMCA to Liberty and Church streets.
• Ceremony at Oak Grove Freedman’s Cemetery, 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Liberty and North Church streets. The ceremony will be led by Grant Harrison of Soldier’s Memorial AME Zion Church.
Time will be allotted for parade participants to line up following the ceremony.
• Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade, 11 a.m., beginning at the corner of Church and Liberty streets and proceeding right on Main Street, through downtown Salisbury, left on Bank Street and ending on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
• Salisbury Civic Center, 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Festivities include food and craft vendors offering items for purchase; entertainment by Legendary Bluesman Mac Arnold. Activities will continue until 4:30 p.m.
The presenting sponsor is Food Lion and the corporate sponsor is Rowan Regional Medical Center, and Miller Davis Agency provided the posters and tickets.
Qadirah said the events are made possible with help from many volunteers and other local businesses who sponsored the event.
Breakfast tickets can also be purchased at the following churches — First Calvary Baptist, Gethsemane Baptist, Moore’s Chapel AME Zion, Mt. Zion Baptist, Southern City AME Zion, St. Luke’s Episcopal, Trinity Presbyterian and White Rock AME Zion.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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