MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many events scheduled to honor Martin Luther King Jr. were canceled because of the threat of COVID-19 and extreme cold, but MLK Day went on as planned in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Monday morning in Holly Springs, snow on the ground and temperatures hovering just above freezing greeted those who came out to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

King’s 93rd birthday was Jan. 15, but Monday is recognized as a federal holiday in his honor.

Activities were limited because of the cold weather and the threat of COVID-19, but organizers such as Co-founder Antjuan Lester, wanted the event to take place with the same energy King displayed in life.

“It didn’t matter whether it was hot, cold, snowing, or rain, he moved,” Lester said. “He was on the move. That’s what we want to do. We want to keep his legacy going.”

Parade participants circled the Marshall County courthouse and gathered around the town square for a series of speakers, including some of them reciting Dr. King’s well-known lines.

Since MLK Day is also called a “day of service,” organizations handed out free school supplies and toiletries. Some either handed out hot beverages and food, hoping a message of love and unity will reach to the youngest person there.

Sheila Pool of Chulahoma Masonic Lodge said she hopes the younger people will be inspired to keep King’s legacy alive.

“So the young people can understand that as we get older, we need them to take up the slack for helping out,” Pool said. “If they see us out here working, they’ll come put in work and represent MLK Day.”

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