More young people urged to get involved in local MLK events

Members of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mass Choir perform in January 2019 under the direction of Ricky Hoskins at St. James United Methodist Church. This year’s events will begin with a parade through downtown at 10:30 a.m. Monday and conclude with ceremonies at St. James.

DANVILLE – It is the hope of longtime Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee Chairwoman Mary Thompson that more young people get involved with the committee and its annual activities.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee’s annual two-day celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, “Pursuing Peace Together” will begin with the MLK Scholarship Banquet at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Days Hotel, 77 N. Gilbert St.

Thompson said this year’s theme means to her “we are still trying to accomplish what we started out to do.”

The banquet will feature a performance by When Shepards Worship (WSW), a gospel group from Chicago. 

“I heard they are really good,” Thompson said of the singing group.

Also, the banquet will include the presentation of a MLK Scholarship to a Danville graduating high school senior who plans to pursue an education at an institution of higher learning.

The $4,000 scholarship is to any college of the recipient’s choosing, said Sandra Finch, human relations administrator with the city.

The admission fee for the banquet is $20. For ticket information, call the Danville Human Relations Department at Danville City Hall at 431-2280.

The second program on Monday, Jan. 20 will begin with a motorcade/parade.

Thompson hopes the weather cooperates this year. It was too cold last year for marchers, but the motorcade still occurred.

The line-up for the motorcade/parade will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at the corner of Main Street and Logan Avenue, and the procession will start at 10:30 a.m.

The motorcade will turn east on Main Street and it will travel north on Vermilion Street. Then it will turn right onto Seminary Street and travel until it gets to the corner of Jackson and Seminary streets. It will then make a left onto Jackson Street, travel on Jackson Street to the corner of Jackson and Williams streets, pause for a small ceremony at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument and then proceed west on Williams Street to Vermilion Street. It will turn right on Vermilion Street, then it will turn left onto Davis Street and park on the northwest side of St. James United Methodist Church’s parking lot.

The celebration service at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St., will start at 11:30 a.m. Monday. The Reverend Daniel J. Garrett, pastor of Spirit Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, will serve as the speaker for the program.

Also, the Danville MLK Mass Choir, under the direction of Brett Dupree, will perform.

The public is invited to the celebration service, and there is no admission fee.

Those interested in participating in the mass choir can attend remaining rehearsals at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Second Baptist Church, 940 Franklin St., and at 7 p.m. on Saturday at St. James.

“I look forward to it,” Thompson said about the annual events.

“I feel we need to get some young blood in there,” she too added.

Thompson encourages the public to attend the events to hear a wonderful singing group and speaker.

“It’s just something that our community looks forward to every year,” Finch said.

For banquet tickets or additional information, contact Chair Mary Thompson at 442-7917 or the city's Human Relations Department at 431-2280.

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