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Events to mark Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday planned in Clearwater, Tarpon Springs

The creation of a multicolored mosaic, a two-day discussion on race, a march and a parade are among the local activities planned this weekend to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

The Clearwater East Library, 2251 Drew St., is sponsoring a celebration Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at which families can paint tiles that will later be arranged to form a mosaic.

With videos of King's "I Have a Dream" speech playing, visitors will have a chance to paint the tiles many different colors, symbolizing King's embrace of diversity.

Youth services librarian Nicole Kennedy said the more people who participate, the larger the mosaic will be. The library will display the finished piece in its meeting space, a place Kennedy said is fitting, as it hosts a diverse group of citizens.

"We want the mural to reflect our community," she said.

Friday at 7 p.m., the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater will sponsor a viewing of the Clint Eastwood film Gran Torino and an open discussion afterward at the congregation's Octagon Arts Center, 2470 Nursery Road.

The discussion, guided by national facilitator the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, will continue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday with a lunch and a workshop at the congregation's social hall.

The Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, senior minister, said the discussions should give participants a chance to continue King's legacy of peacefully searching for an answer to the questions of race.

"We're trying to create an opportunity to have a civil discourse on race, which I feel is missing in the public arena," he said.

The congregation is also holding a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at its arts center, featuring jazz musician Fred Johnson, and a special worship service Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

The city of Tarpon Springs and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Event Foundation are sponsoring a parade and festival Saturday. Parade participants will line up at 10 a.m. at the Bank of America parking lot at the corner of S Pinellas Avenue and Lemon Street.

At 11 a.m. the parade will proceed to Dorsett Park, where there will be a festival that will feature music, food and activities.

The Clearwater/Upper Pinellas branch of the NAACP will host a breakfast Monday at Clearwater's North Greenwood Aquatics and Recreation Center, 900 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children 10 years or younger.

The breakfast will be followed by a march to Coachman Park, where a festival will conclude the day's celebrations.

Clearwater public information coordinator Charles Eric Wilson Sr. said this year's celebration features one of King's oft-repeated themes: Remember the past, but always look ahead.

"You always have to move forward," Wilson said.

Staff writer Demorris A. Lee contributed to this report.

Events to mark Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday planned in Clearwater, Tarpon Springs 01/12/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 7:58pm]
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