42nd annual King Day Celebration
What: Events marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day
When: Monday; assembly begins at noon; march around Gainesville square starts at 1 p.m.; program at 2 p.m.
Where: Assembly, E.E. Butler Parkway and Washington Street; march route travels around square, down to Brenau University, Fair Street School and ending at New Holland Core Knowledge Academy, 170 Barn St., off Jesse Jewell Parkway
Contact: Newtown Florist Club, 770-718-1343
Holiday closings, schedule changes
Area schools and government offices will be closed Monday for the King Day holiday. The Postal Service will not deliver mail.
Solid waste and recycling schedule will be as follows: Monday customers will be picked up Tuesday; Tuesday customers will be picked up Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will be normal pickup days; contact Dan Owen, 770-532-0493.
Administrative offices, courts and community centers will be closed Monday for the holiday and Tuesdays for an employee furlough day. Essential public safety and public works personnel will continue service; landfill and compactor sites will remain open.
Remarks by a Gainesville-born preacher now serving in Lilburn and a march around the Gainesville downtown square are highlights of Monday's 42nd Annual King Day Celebration.
Newtown Florist Club, a local environmental justice group, is sponsoring the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
This year's theme is "Remember, Celebrate, Act: A Mission to Fulfill."
Participants will gather at noon in the SunTrust parking lot at E.E. Butler Parkway and Washington Street.
"We'll have a prayer from three local ministers from diverse backgrounds," said André Cheek, the event organizer. "Then, we'll sing some songs while we're assembled."
The march is set to start at 1 p.m., travel around the square, down to Brenau University and Fair Street School, then proceed on to New Holland Core Knowledge Academy off Jesse Jewell Parkway.
A program will take place at New Holland. The Rev. Richard B. Haynes, pastor of Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Lilburn, will be the guest speaker.
The program also will involve remarks by Frank Norton Jr., a Gainesville real estate executive, Cheek said.
On Tuesday, as an "MLK give-back to the community," students will plant crepe myrtle and fruit trees of different kinds around the New Holland playground. Several area businesses donated the trees, along with 14 barrels of pine straw, Cheek said.
Students in third through fifth grades and a special-needs class "will adopt a tree and be responsible for planting it," she said.
For Cheek, the annual event holds personal significance.
"It wasn't until I went off to Clark Atlanta University that I learned a lot about my history," she said.
Across the street is Morehouse College, where King was a graduate.
"Every time I participate in a march, I'm not just doing it because it's an event," Cheek said. "I'm doing it in honor and memory of those who have gone on before (me), who were instrumental in the civil rights movement as well the women's (rights) movement.
"Both impact me as an African-American female. I find it an honor to be a part of the program, but to also be able to reach into different parts of our community and ask people to be a part of it."