The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream lives on in Seguin with five days of events recognizing the slain civil rights icon and the national holiday celebrating his visionary practices and policies.
Seguinites begin celebrating the man and the holiday on Thursday and wrap up festivities Monday with the annual symbolic march and more. MLK Day celebrations have long been a staple in the community and continue even if things are different today than they were when King lived.
“Of course the world has changed since Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated,” said Regina Lee, chairperson of the Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee. “A lot of it is for the better. In our community, the children seem to be so together, the Seguin community. I look at our school children and how they interact with each other. It’s positive and very hopeful for the future.”
Seguin’s annual MLK celebration grew from a one-day event to the nearly week-long extravaganza it is today.
Currently, it includes Thursday’s Seguin Baptist Minister’s Union featuring guest speaker Lester J. Gillespie Sr. at First Baptist Church; the Seguin ISD Choir Showcase on Friday; a social hour, dinner and stage performance beginning Saturday afternoon; Gospel Fest on Sunday at First Baptist Church; and concluding Monday with the big march from Texas Lutheran University’s Wupperman Theater to Central Park in downtown Seguin.
The direction of the annual march is one of the updates for this year’s MLK Day happenings, Lee said. Whereas the march usually starts downtown and moves over to TLU, this year the route is reversed, she said.
“We’re going to march from TLU to Central Square,” Lee said. “People are very interested in the march and people come to just march. We also have a program behind it and some encouraging words.
“Start at TLU, gather together and then march downtown. When we get downtown, there’s going to be music playing.”
Also for the first time, people who reach Central Park will be greeted by music and food vendors, Lee said. Keynote speaker Michael Washington, a former TLU quarterback and current associate director of admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, will address the gathering after the march, she said.
The march and other aspects of the five-day celebration are important for the community at large as well as young and older residents and visitors to Seguin, said Roscoe Gonzales Jr., an MLK Committee member for 30 years.
Carrying on the knowledge of the past and what it means for the present and future are vital components of the celebration, he said.
“Most of the time, they take for granted what we have now and don’t know who fought to gain these freedoms we possess,” Gonzales said. “We just don’t remember what happened. We’re living on the lives of those who came before us and have no clue about what they did or what they went through.”
For more information about MLK events in Seguin or about the MLK Seguin Committee, visit the committee’s website at mlkseguin.com . A complete listing of upcoming 2020 MLK Day events is available at the site, along with times and ticket prices for the dinner theater fundraiser.