MANATEE -- Events planned for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday in Manatee County:
The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade starts at Lincoln Middle School, 305 17th St. E., Palmetto, at noon Saturday, Jan. 16. Immediately following the parade, the annual Multicultural Festival will begin at Lincoln Park on 17th Street and U.S. 41. At 5 p.m., Freddie Jackson, soul singer, will take the stage at 5 p.m. The event will feature Polynesian dancers, a Kids Zone, vendors and more. MLK celebrations kick off Friday night with the annual MLK banquet at the Palmetto Youth Center, 501 17th St. W. at 7 p.m. Banquet activities include a proclamation, acknowledgement of two outstanding citizens for community service work, a small business award and this year's Edgar H. Price Jr. Award winner, Manatee County Sheriff's Office Col. Rick Wells, former Palmetto police chief for government service.
As part of "Stride Toward Freedom," the 2016 Sarasota Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration, Booker High School will present "Dream Big: Civil Rights and Social Justice" from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 17, at the school's Visual and Performing Arts Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.
Ortygia Restaurant, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service starting at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, by serving 500 free meals, until the food runs out. For more information: 941-741-8646.
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Daughtrey Elementary School is taking 14 of its fifth graders to celebrate MLK weekend in Birmingham, Ala., using a $5,000 grant from State College of Florida. The group leaves Friday, Jan. 15, and returns Monday, Jan. 18. The itinerary includes the Birmingham Museum of Art, the 16th Street Baptist Church, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Manatee Elementary School, 1609 6th Ave. E., Bradenton, plans a Day of Service Project, Moments With Mentors, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, for the public, complete with board games, karaoke, arts and crafts and free food.
The Southeast High School boys basketball teams will be hosting an MLK Day of Service as a means of giving back to the community 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18 in the school's gymnasium, 1200 37th Avenue East, Bradenton. There will be assistance for community members needing to revamp their resume or learn interviewing skills for the workplace; informational sessions on military banking, tips for healthy habits and lifestyles; also, raffles and free food.
Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary School, 400 30th Ave W, , will be beautifying the schools peace garden in honor of Dr. King to continue his legacy of peace. The students will be planting alongside community partners Firkins, Water's Edge Retirement citizens, Bethel Baptist Church volunteers, and Manatee County Department of Recycling. Students will showcase recycled works of art in the garden.
Project Light, 1104 14th St, Bradenton on Monday, Jan 18, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. will have teams of volunteers including representatives of different religious groups, Occupy Bradenton, students of Project Light, staff, teachers and youth organizing and setting up three libraries with materials donated or purchased with grant money. These libraries will provide additional classroom resources for teachers, reference materials for teachers, and various levels of high interest adapted books for English as a Second Language students and books to prepare for GED or citizenship exams.
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