The town’s 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is planned for Monday, Jan. 21. The theme of this year’s celebration is Dream, Believe … Act!, focusing on the dream of achieving racial equality and harmony in our community and nation.
The day’s events kick off with a march from the Loudoun County Courthouse to the Douglass Community Center. Marchers will gather on the courthouse lawn in downtown Leesburg at 10 a.m. and will proceed from the courthouse on East Market Street to the Douglass Community Center, at 405 East Market Street, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Individuals, families, churches, and community organizations are invited to participate and walk together during the march. There will also be a community forum offered at Douglass from 9 to 10 a.m. featuring a dialogue between youth and elders.
Musical performances, presentations, and inspirational offerings will be made by members of the community, including keynote speaker Mark “The Speaker Man” Wiggins, an international motivational speaker, trainer, facilitator, and coach.
Wiggins is the author of several books including “Permission to Succeed: The Only Person Who Can Give It Is You,” and “Success Does NOT Need A Co-Signer.” He is also the host of the Off the Bench with Mark Wiggins podcast and has more than 25 years of experience in the corporate and communications industries.
East Market Street, from King to Church streets, will be closed at 9:30 a.m. in preparation for the march. Once the march begins, rolling street closures will take place in the eastbound lanes of East Market Street, from Church Street to the Douglass Community Center, as the parade proceeds.
Attendees to the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration are encouraged to participate in a canned food drive to benefit Loudoun Hunger Relief. This local food pantry has a special need for nonperishable meat products. Drop off area for the food drive will be at Douglass Community Center from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The founding sponsors for this event are the Loudoun NAACP, Douglass Alumni Association, Bluemont Concert Series, and the Baha’i Community of Loudoun. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, civic and religious organizations are all welcome to participate. For more information, contact Tammy Carter at 571-331-4721, Kimberly Etherith at 703-314-1491 or Lily Dunning at 540-539-5651.