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Lexington’s MLK Day events will look different this year due to pandemic

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington and the University of Kentucky will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 18.

COVID-19 won’t stop the annual march downtown, but it will affect how the march will be conducted, as well as the events that usually surround the day.

The message from longtime Lexington DJ and MLK Committee member Jay Alexander couldn’t be any clearer.

“Please, please, please, please wear a mask,” Alexander said.

Organizers of this year’s commemorative Martin Luther King Jr. Day want people to March and be safe.

“We will be six feet apart. We are asking people to use common sense because COVID is no joke,” Alexander said. “Members of my family have been affected by COVID.

The event will take place Monday, January 18, at 10 a.m.

Freedom March participants are encouraged to line up at 9:30 a.m.a long high street adjacent to the Central Bank Center. Organizers say if you’re in the crowd it’s quite natural for you to mingle, but not too much.

“We like to handshake and hug, please don’t do it this year,” Alexander said. Please, please, please we have to social distance.”

The usual indoor events like keynote speakers, tributes, and singing have been replaced by a documentary called ‘Fire and Heart: A Blueprint for Liberation.’ The film, produced by Lexington born filmmaker Joan Brannon, will be presented live at noon on the committee’s YouTube page.

With all the obstacles there was some discussion of canceling the event.

“We had talked about it but we decided against it because of the importance of it yes,” Alexander said.

This will be one Freedom March that will look and feel unlike any other.

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