Columbia celebrates 37th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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COLUMBIA - After hosting several events Monday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the city of Columbia has canceled the last celebration due to weather.

The city planned a Dr. Martin Luther King Candlelight Walk and Memorial Celebration, but later canceled it due to winter weather.

The Columbia Public Library held an MLK Day of Service Volunteer Fair. It encouraged the community to recognize the day as "a day on, not a day off."

Representatives from a collection of organizations were there to share volunteer opportunities. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Friend's Room at the Columbia Public Library.

The Columbia NAACP hosted its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program. There was a brief ceremony held at the MLK memorial at Battle Garden on Stadium Blvd. A motorcade from the memorial to Second Baptist Church followed the ceremony.

The ceremony began at 11 a.m. with the motorcade beginning shortly after at 11:15 a.m. Once the motorcade arrived to the Second Baptist Church, there was a celebration program and free community luncheon.

Mary Ratliff, president of Columbia NAACP, hosted the event and said she was expecting a big turn out.

"I just want to make sure that Dr. King's day gives him the honor that he so richly deserves," Ratliff said.

Ratliff said the holiday is an important opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate.

"It should not be a day off for you to stay home and take off," Ratliff said. "It should be a day of remembrance. So I hope that what we do can keep bringing that to their attention."

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