For The News Courier
Two separate events in Athens will offer citizens a variety of ways to observe the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday today, from marching to singing to celebrating.
The morning will kick-off with the annual Athens-Limestone Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday March in downtown Athens. Participants will gather at 8:50 a.m. and march around The Square at 9 a.m. Marchers will march to the Limestone County Event Center on Pryor Street for a program.
The program will start at 9:30 a.m. Local students will read their winning essays on this year’s theme, “A Decision Today, Impacting Tomorrow.” The Round Island Creek Male Chorus will perform, and refreshments will be available after the program.
The march and program are sponsored by the local NAACP chapter, City of Athens and Limestone County Commission.
Another traditional program is the Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park Committee’s Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Ceremony. This is the 16th year for the program, held at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church on Westmoreland Street.
Committee member and Athens City Councilman Jimmy Gill said the program will start at 11 a.m. and lunch will be provided afterwards.
This year’s guest speaker is Limestone County Circuit Court Judge Jimmy Woodroof. The title of his speech is, “The Right Voice at the Right Time.”
“I will be focusing on taking a stand and making a difference,” Woodroof said.
He will reference King and Maxine E. Harris Pulley.
The Round Island Creek Male Chorus will perform at this event also.
The program will conclude with the committee’s naming of its Dr. C. Eric Lincoln Humanitarian of the Year award winner. The committee gives the award in memory of Lincoln, who was born in 1924 in Athens and was the 1939 valedictorian of the former all-black Trinity High School. Lincoln was an author, theologian, ordained Methodist minister and a professor of religion at Duke University. His book "The Avenue, Clayton City" won the Lillian Smith Award for best Southern fiction in 1988.
The public is invited to participate in both events.