Martin Luther King Jr. Day looked a little more normal in Lompoc than it did a year ago.
Lompoc residents and visitors celebrated the life of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center a year after having a virtual event in 2021.
“After having the event virtual last year, which was great, to be back in person and feel the energy, it is so much more impactful to be here,” said MLK committee member Tommy Speidel.
“I’m so happy that people are still coming out and still it is important to them to show the unity, diversity, and the togetherness of the love that exists because of the dream we’re trying to make real,” said Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Ronald Wiley.
“When we look at the pandemic, we have blamed it for separating us and to see something like this today it tells me they believe their God is bigger than the pandemic,” said New Hope Baptist Church Pastor Donald Wesson.
Many in attendance said this event felt even more special than in prior years.
“Every year, it means more and more to me because I don’t want to see things deteriorate,” said Wiley.
“The committee was dedicated to having the event return safely in person and we feel like we took a number of precautions this year to make sure people could come and enjoy the event in person,” said Speidel.
Masks were required inside the building and temperature checks were taken at the front entrance.
While masks were on, the celebration looked the same as it had prior to the pandemic.
“It’s a matter that we all can relate that Dr. King surrendered his life that all men are not only created equal, but could deal with each other from an equal standpoint,” said Wesson.
“Now it is up to us to make that dream happen,” said Wiley.
Monday’s event took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.