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MLK Jr. celebration kicks off Friday with choir rehearsal
Annual prayer breakfast is Saturday; parade, community service Monday
Ashton Stater, 6, center, and Mekhi Palmer, 8, right, march with the Original First African Baptist Church during the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in downtown Statesboro. This year's parade begins at 2 p.m. Monday, starting on North Main Street and ending on MLK Drive. (SCOTT BRYANT/Herald file)

The community will have several opportunities to celebrate this weekend with a number of events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The chance to participate in a community choir, attend a speech and gathering, and experience a parade through downtown Statesboro is in store, said newly elected Bulloch County Chapter NAACP President Delinda Gaskins.

On Friday, the public is invited to participate in or just enjoy the rehearsal of the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir, held at the Agape Worship Center at 810 W. Grady St., she said. Directed by Minister David Sharpe, the rehearsal is at 7 p.m.

The community choir will perform Monday after the parade at a community service.

On Saturday, the public is invited to an NAACP Youth Council Prayer Breakfast, held at St. Mathews Catholic Church on John Paul Avenue. Admission is $12 and breakfast begins at 8 a.m. The admission fee helps fund Youth Council activities.

Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, honors the historic leader, and the Bulloch County NAACP will host an annual parade downtown. Gaskins said the theme this year is "Equality Is Liberty and Justice."

Pearl Brown, former president of the Bulloch County branch of the NAACP, and her husband, Carlos Brown, who is also a long-time member and officer, will serve as parade grand marshals, Gaskins said.

"After all the years of dedicated work these two have done in the community," the honor is appropriate, she said.

The parade begins at 2 p.m., starting on North Main Street and ending on MLK Drive. There will be local dignitaries, school bands, dance groups, antique vehicles, civic and church groups, beauty queens and floats reflecting the parade theme.

Afterward, at 3 p.m. at Elm Street Church of God (29 Elm St.), Georgia state Rep. Al Williams will speak at the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service, where the community choir will also perform, she said.

The public is invited to attend all events. For more information, contact Gaskins at (912) 682-4917 or (912) 481-8914.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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