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Schools are closed Monday and many businesses are closed too, but a number of cities in the area are holding events and parades to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15.  The holiday is always observed the third Monday of January, but this year is quite special since the holiday falls on King’s actual birthday. 

King was born in 1929.  He was a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and civil rights leader who promoted and lived by justice and equality.

Here is a roundup of Monday’s activities (in alphabetical order) to remind us of the man who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Allen

The Inaugural Collin County Martin Luther King, Jr. Appreciation Day will be held Monday hosted by a variety of Collin County Community Leaders and Churches. Appreciation Day features a free celebratory program led by Master of Ceremonies - John McCaa, WFAA-TV News Co-Anchor. Participants will also be able to take part in programs that feature commentary, proclamations, music and dance. Special presentations will include recognition of student poster contest winners and the MLK Drum Major Awards from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 601 South Greenville Avenue, Allen.

Cedar Hill

The City of Cedar Hill will be holding a MLK Celebration & Peace March on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at the Cedar Hill Government Center from 3 to 5 p.m.  This free event will feature special guest Diane Nash, a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement. The Celebration will also include performances by local school and church groups with the Peace March walking down a section of Uptown Blvd. Individuals and organizations are invited to participate in the march with banners and join in Freedom songs of the era.

Dallas

With approximately 250,000-plus parade spectators and participants, the MLK parade in Dallas is considered one of the largest commemorative events held in the United States. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Holmes Street and MLK Boulevard; it will proceed down MLK and end at Fair Park. Participants this year will include elected officials, high school bands and dance teams, car clubs, horses, local businesses and other community organizations.  

Grand Prairie

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Grand Prairie, that city’s NAACP chapter will present the 2018 MLK Jr. Day Parade Monday. The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. at City Hall Plaza, 317 College St. in front of the Liberty Bell, and end at David Daniels Math Science Academy. Lunch will be served in the David Daniels Cafeteria and a short program honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King will be held at the Dalworth Recreation Center located at 2012 Spikes St. Grand Prairie.

Irving

In the City of Irving children ages eight to 17 are invited to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by composing an essay based on a selected theme. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place and the winning essays will be on display for the remainder of the month at the Cimarron Park Recreation Center, 201 Red River Trail, Irving.  There is also the chance to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a free spaghetti luncheon provided by the Irving-Carrollton chapter of the NAACP.  The luncheon will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the Georgia Farrow Recreation Center, 530 Davis Drive, Irving and there will also be guest speakers in attendance too.

Waxahachie

The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Waxahachie will begin Monday at 1 p.m. at Turner School at 615 Getzendaner, Waxahachie.  It will proceed North to Peters, then West on Peters to Wyatt, South on Wyatt to MLK Blvd ending at Freedman's Park. Following the parade there will be "A Program of Reflection" at Samaria Baptist Church featuring speaker, Ed Gray with WFAA-Channel 8.