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Central Coast events celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 16, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16.

The holiday honors the life and legacy of the civil rights leader on or around his birthday, which is January 15.

In Lompoc, dozens of people gathered at the Dick DeWees Center for a community celebration. The theme was "Honoring Dr. King: His life, His legacy, His Dream."

"It's about unity. It's about togetherness and the community. It's about caring for one another. It's about being sensitive to individuals who have less than maybe some of the others," said Lompoc Pastor Ron Wiley. "All of that encompasses what Dr. King was about. He was a man of God and he promoted love, and that's the key."

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A display honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was set up inside the Dick DeWees Center in Lompoc on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.

In Paso Robles, residents celebrated Dr. King with a community march at the Downtown City Park and a program that included singing and dancing and a presentation by the Paso Robles High School Black Student Union.

"I see a progression toward the world becoming a village and that's the residual from this experience," said Chaplain Kenneth Parish, New Light Missionary Baptist Church. "What he started then has spread for generations, and it will continue to spread because of the love ethic and what it means to communities and what it means to the people that represent the world."

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Paso Robles residents march through the Downtown City Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

For many people, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day of service. While a beach cleanup that was scheduled to take place at Pirate's Cove was canceled Monday morning because of the rain, that didn't stop some Cal Poly students.

A group of students brought their own bucket and gloves and picked up trash along the bluff.

"I was looking for a service project to do on Monday since it's MLK Day and I wanted to do something and, you know, make the world better," said one of the students. "We came out to pick up trash and clean up the beach because you don't want plastic blasting into the ocean, and that's why we're here. I wrangled all these nice people to wake up early with me and pick up trash, and we're still doing it."

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A group of Cal Poly students picked up trash at Pirate's Cove on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.