Events are planned in Tyler and nearby areas for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to honor the civil rights movement icon.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated annually across the country to recognize the birthday of the civil rights leader. The day of commemoration is the third Monday of each January, which is Jan. 20 this year. King’s birthday is Jan. 15.
Tyler Together Race Relations Forum will present the 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Interfaith Community Program on Monday with the theme, “Only in the Darkness Can You See the Stars.”
The event begins at 9 a.m. on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza in downtown Tyler with a short program. The parade and march will start at 9:30 a.m. toward the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The main program at the cathedral begins at 10 a.m. People are encouraged to come to the downtown square and bring banners and signs for the march.
Sha’Rell Webb, founder of Coding With a Twist, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. She is a 2012 graduate of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins.
Coding With a Twist brings computer science, coding and robotics to underestimated students, according to information from event organizers. Webb also is a board member of Black Girls Do Engineer Corporation, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence of black American women in STEM-related careers with knowledge, mentorship to young girls and career path advice.
Tyler Together is also sponsoring MLK essay and visual arts contests for local students. In partnership with the city of Tyler, over 240 art pieces are displayed on the Tyler Public Library’s first floor through Feb. 8. Winning students will be announced at the main program Monday.
On Sunday, Tyler Together and Mike Guinn Entertainment will sponsor the second annual East Texas Martin Luther King Jr. Spoken Word Slam and Open Mic Competition from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Foundry Coffee House in Tyler. There will be cash prizes for the best poetry performance. Admission and parking are both free.
Jacksonville will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday with a march that starts at 11:30 a.m. at Norman Activity Center and continues to Sweet Union Baptist Church. A special service will conclude the march. Participants are encouraged to line up by 11:15 a.m. Contact AJ Rose at Community Funeral Home, 903-284-6203.
On Tuesday at Lee High School, Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society will host a gallery walk of posters and quotes from significant dates and events in King’s lifetime. Students and faculty can see these throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins will have a Martin Luther King Jr. program at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Smith-Howard Chapel on campus with the Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr. serving as speaker.
For Smith County, all nonemergency offices will be closed on Monday for the holiday. The offices will reopen at regular times Tuesday.
No new jury panels will be called for Smith County next week because of the holiday.
For the city of Tyler, City Hall, the Solid Waste Department and Tyler Recycle Center, Tyler Public Library, Tyler Transit and Paratransit, Tyler Innovation Pipeline, Municipal Court, Tyler Animal Services, Gallery Main Street, Tyler Senior Center, Glass Recreation Center, Goodman Le-Grand Museum and Tyler Rose Garden Center and Tyler Water Utilities will be closed Monday.
City garbage routes normally done on Monday will be done Tuesday, and the Tuesday pickup will be on Wednesday. Regular collection will start back up Thursday. Curbside recycling collection will be the same as the garbage routes.
For information about changes to garbage collection schedules, recycling and other special projects, visit www.TylerSolidWaste.com or download the Tyler Talks Trash app.
The Tyler Pounds Regional Airport administrative offices will be closed Monday. Customers can contact their airlines for special holiday schedules. American Airlines’ contact is 800-433-730 and Frontier Airlines’ contact is 801-401-9000.
The Water Business Office will be closed, but the drive-thru kiosk is available 24/7 for water utility customers. It will accept check, money order, credit and debit cards and cash payments. No change will be given for those paying with cash.