Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations planned across Mid-Columbia

By the Herald staffJanuary 19, 2014 

Mid-Columbia residents have several options for recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here is a list of events:

-- Columbia Basin College will hold its annual bell-ringing ceremony starting at noon today in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on the Pasco campus. The event will then move into the Gjerde Center.

After the bell-ringing, the Federation of Choirs will perform, then Cos Edwards, CEO of WorkSource Columbia Basin, will speak. Also appearing at the event will be Miss Juneteenth Ajanae Kinsey.

-- The African-American Academic Society plans a chili feed fundraiser from 1 to 3 p.m. today at Ruth Livingston Elementary School, 9515 Road 84 in Pasco.

Cost is $5 for ages 13 and older, and $3 for kids 12 and younger. Desserts and lemonade are sold separately.

Proceeds from the event are used for scholarships for high school seniors.

-- The U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at most of its day-use recreation sites today.

Martin Luther King Jr. day is the first of several days throughout the year when parks will waive entry fees. Some of the others include: Presidents Day weekend, Feb. 14-17; National Get Outdoors Day, June 14; National Public Lands Day, Sept. 27; and Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 8-11.

-- Heritage University will honor Martin Luther King Jr. at a celebration Thursday on the Toppenish campus.

Keynote speaker is Harold Wingood, the associate vice president of enrollment management at the university.

History professor Greg Hinze will present the history behind the civil rights movement.

The event also will feature a spoken word presentation by Heritage University student Latasha Larez. Music will be provided by gospel singer Nadine German.

The free event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Smith Family Hall. For more information, call 509-865-8565.

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