The 6th annual Huron Valley Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Day celebration will be held on Monday, Jan. 17, beginning at 1 p.m. with a “March on Main Street” from Prospect Hill, located at 516 Highland Ave. in Milford Village, to Central Park.
The road will officially close at 1 p.m., but spectators and participants can start lining up around 12:15 p.m., when music and the National Anthem will commence.
During the free-of-charge event, light refreshments donated by local businesses will be served.
Parking for the event is available directly at Prospect Hill, but the Huron Valley MLK Committee is encouraging parking in downtown Milford to support local businesses and to view this year’s event art submissions.
The Huron Valley MLK Day Committee’s mission is to encourage everyone to recognize the significance of Dr. King’s leadership and message in today’s world, and to attend the event to advocate the holiday’s message of
“We’re trying to emphasize community action and service,” said Huron Valley MLK Committee Chairman Isaac Perry. “The national Dr. King holiday is designed as a day of service, not only to reflect on the life of Dr. King and the significance of the Civil Rights Movement, but to draw inspiration on what we can do as citizens to attribute time and effort in making our community a safer and more beautiful place.”
To support the event, the Huron Valley School District won’t hold classes on Jan. 17.
Johnston Elementary School students will be performing the capstone “I Have a Dream” speech at the event and taking an active role in the march.
Likewise, one of the members of the Milford High School Men’s Choir will be singing.
Finally, on Jan. 13, Lakeland High School will be screening the locally shot film, “Bilal’s Stand,” which symbolizes the message of Dr. King.
“It’s a film about a man dealing with family and social pressures while at same time trying to achieve personal dreams,” Perry said.
This year’s event theme, “One World, One Family: Inspired to Action,” was selected to inspire local artists to express their own interpretation of the impact of King and community service.
Communitywide art submissions will be judged and awarded prizes in art, poetry, photography, essays, music, speeches, and performance in any medium, and in four age categories (11 and under, 12-17, 18 and older, and seniors). Winners and selected submissions will be displayed in storefront windows by several Main Street businesses this week and on the holiday. Prizes include scholarships, savings bonds, and gift certificates.
Following the march there has traditionally been a Community Volunteer Fair to showcase local charities, non-profit groups, projects, and a host of other opportunities for local citizens to give back to needy families, and network with other volunteers in the area; however, Perry said event organizers are moving that event to the spring to increase participation.
The event committee has added a new component to its website to spur community involvement.
“Anyone who can come up with a creative idea to beautify or maintain community, submit it to us and we will officially sponsor one of these projects,” Perry said.