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10 MLK Day Events Happening In The Charlotte Region

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Events are planned around the Charlotte region Monday in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which marks the birthday of the late civil rights activist. 

The federal holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of January and was established in 1983, despite strong opposition at the time from North Carolina's two Republican senators, John Porter East and Jesse Helms, who led a filibuster in the Senate in an attempt to block the holiday.

Local tributes for King predate the official holiday. The city of Charlotte has held a parade in King's honor every year since 1981. This year's parade was held Saturday and featured more than 90 community organizations, marching bands, floats and dancers.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta and was assassinated April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Many events are also planned around the region on Monday to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here are some:

MLK Day Celebration At Gantt Center

The Harvey B. Gantt Center in on South Tryon Street in uptown is hosting a day full of events including a community coloring session, a screening of "Our Friend Martin," a community mural project and performances. 

YMCA MLK Holiday Breakfast

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte's 26th annual MLK Holiday Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom on South College Street in uptown. The keynote speaker is Dr. Robert Brown. Proceeds benefit youth programs at the McCrorey YMCA. The event is sold out.

MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast In Rock Hill

The Rock Hill Community Relations Council in South Carolina is hosting an interfaith prayer breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. at First Baptist Church on Hood Center Road. The serving line starts at 6:45 a.m. and tickets are $15. Faith Rivers James is the featured speaker.

MLK Day Celebration In Davidson

The town of Davidson is holding a celebration in the Town Hall board room starting at 10 a.m. There will be refreshments and spoken word. The Rev. Anthony Davis of Temple AMEZ is the guest speaker. For more information call 704-892-3349.

Art • Poetry • Music At Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road is hosting a 7 p.m. concert called "Art • Poetry • Music: Celebrating Charlotte's African American community and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." The event features 150 singers and combines music, spoken word and visual art – including readings from King's speeches.

Atrium Health Martin Luther King Jr. National Observance & CMS Arts Writing Contest Awards

This event starts at 10 a.m. at Central Piedmont Community College's Halton Theater on Elizabeth Avenue and features multimedia art, including performances from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students. Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young is the keynote speaker.

Atrium Health Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service

A brief service and wreath-laying ceremony will be held from noon-1 p.m. at Marshall Park in uptown.

Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Celebration At Levine Museum

A free celebration at Levine Museum of the New South on East Seventh Street in uptown starts at 10 a.m. and includes drummers and other musical performances, children's story time, theater and arts and crafts.

Gaston County MLK Unity Awards

The Gaston Clergy & Citizens Coalition presents the 2020 MLK Unity Awards to Dr. Mark Epstein, Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid and John P. Weisenhorn at 10:30 a.m. in the Gaston County Health and Human Services building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Gastonia.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance In Kings Mountain

The city of Kings Mountain is hosting a free observance at 3 p.m. at the Joy Performance Center on South Railroad Avenue featuring live performances from Bright Star Touring Theatre and Palmer Grove Baptist Church.