The 23rd annual celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. begins this weekend in Toccoa.
Willie Woodruff is the Vice President of the Black Christian Men Association and is coordinating this year’s commemoration activities.
He said events get started on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church with the art competition.
“Those who have made artistic presentations of Dr. King’s dream, they will be presenting those,” said Woodruff.
Then, starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the annual talent and fashion show will take place at the Schaefer Center in downtown Toccoa.
Woodruff said that will be an event that people will enjoy attending.
“The committee has put a lot of time and effort into that and we expect people to have a good time and to be able to celebrate fashion and talent,” said Woodruff.
Meanwhile, events then continue on Sunday.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the annual oratorical/essay competition will take place at Mount Zion Baptist Church.
The competition will include essays from high schoolers, middle schoolers, and even some elementary school students on the life, legacy, and dream of Dr. King.
Woodruff said it is a great event and one that the committee hopes achieve multiple goals.
“One is that people would research the life of Dr. King, so they would have a learning experience from that,” he said. “Then, they would also develop their ability to stand before audiences and crowds and make presentations.”
Following the essay competition, there will be a reception at Mount Zion Baptist Church and the art will again be on display.
Events continue all the way up through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 21 and all are open to the public.
Woodruff said it is important to take time to remember Dr. King’s life and legacy.
“I think that is very important to take time to remember his legacy, but it is also very important to take time to talk about it, to share where we have come to and where we have been as a society,” said Woodruff.
On January 19 at 3 p.m. at Crossroads Baptist Church, there will be the “Senior Reflections” event. A Youth Musical Extravaganza will take place January 20 at 5 p.m. at the Schaefer Center.
Then, on January 21, the Interfaith Service will take place at noon at Trinity CME Church on Franklin Street in Toccoa, followed by the March for Peace at 2 p.m.