Fresno schoolchildren helped honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friday with a garlanding ceremony at a bust of him in Courthouse Park in Fresno.
The event was part of the 29th annual celebration presented by the Fresno Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Committee to honor the late Dr. King in advance of his birthday, which this year will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 20.
The annual observance also included a dinner and awards ceremony Friday night and continues today with a community breakfast and a candlelight vigil.
Here are Valley events planned in observance of MLK Day:
Community breakfast: 9-11 a.m., Clovis Veterans Memorial Building, 453 Hughes Ave., Clovis. Speaker: Fresno City Council Member Oliver Baines. Tickets at the door with a canned food item $5. Call for reservations. 324-2476.
All-faith service and candlelight vigil: 4-6 p.m., Fresno City College, 1101 E. University Ave., Old Administration Building, Auditorium. Community forum panel: Deborah Blue, chancellor of the State Center Community College District; Lynne Ashbeck, Clovis mayor; Rep. Jim Costa, a Fresno Democrat; and Les Kimber, a former Fresno City Council member and retired founder of the California Advocate newspaper. 435-2212, 227-9819.
March through downtown Fresno: Assembling at 9 a.m., march begins at 10 a.m., St. John's Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa Ave. 284-6420.
Commemoration program: After march, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 2425 Fresno St. Organizers ask attendees to donate canned food at all events. www.fresnomlk.com, 213-5925.
Yosemite National Park: Free admission day. (209) 372-0200 (then dial 3 then 5).
Tulare breakfast and march: 10 a.m. breakfast, Claude Meitzheimer Community Center, 830 S. Blackstone in Tulare. March begins at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served after the march followed by a program. 687-9480.
Merced march: The march along Martin Luther King Jr. Way begins at 11 a.m. Marchers will gather at the Amtrak station on 24th Street and walk to the Merced County Fairgrounds. The event, sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee and the city of Merced, is free. The grand marshals are Yosemite National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson and the Rev. Dwight Amey.
Observing the holiday
The following places will close or not operate Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Colleges and universities
Cities of Fresno, Clovis, Tulare, Visalia, Hanford and Madera
County, state and federal offices
Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera county libraries
Tulare city library
Post offices and mail delivery
Hanford waste collection
The following places will operate on the holiday:
City of Porterville
Fresno, Clovis, Visalia, Madera and Tulare waste collections
Fresno Area Express (weekend service)
Clovis Transit (limited service)
Porterville Colt (Saturday schedule)
Kings Area Rural Transit (Saturday service hours)
Visalia City Coach
Tulare City Transit