by Patrick B. McGuigan
Oklahoma City’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday observances will occur Sunday and Monday, January 20 and 21. The annual parade is on Monday, when the federal holiday is officially observed, kicking off from N.W. 7th along Broadway, and heading south to Sheridan. The grandstands will be at N.W. 5th and Broadway, according to organizers.
A diverse array of events for the Holiday will begin Sunday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Mass at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1005 NE 15th in Oklahoma City (just north of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center). The liturgy will include a multicultural tribute will feature dancers and choral performances, and a presentation about “I Have A Dream,” Dr. King’s historic speech at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. More information is available from Becky Pool, 523-3003.
At 3 p.m. that Sunday, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 5700 North Kelley, hosts its annual tribute to the slain civil rights leader. More information on that event is available at 478-3344.
Temple B’nail Brith, 4900 N. Pennsylvania, is site of a community Cross Cultural program at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
MLK Day itself begins bright and early, with the Sixteenth Annual Community Breakfast at the Nick Harrox Community Center, 200 N. Midwest City Blvd on the east side (Midwest City). Nathaniel Batchelder of The Peace House and FBI agent James E. Finch will be speakers for the morning event, which includes an 8 a.m. program. This event costs just $10, with tickets available during weekday business hours at the community center, or at Prosperity Real Estate, 2208 NE 23.
The annual silent march, styled on early-day civil rights movement marches, begins at 9 a.m. at the Freedom Center on Martin Luther King Avenue, advancing from there to the Oklahoma History Center on N. Laird (northeast of the state Capitol, on the north side of 23rd Street). At the History Center, ringing of the state replica of the Liberty Bell will take place at 11 a.m.
The observance then moves into the downtown area with the MLK Holiday Coalition program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral on N.W. 7Th, beginning at Noon. This event usually lasts until just before start of the parade at 2 p.m.