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It started with a parade beginning at South City Park and winding through the streets of Opelousas to the Holy Ghost Catholic Church Life Center where Rebecca Henry presented the 40th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration and Memoriam. Mayor Julius Alsandor presented Henry with a framed copy of a proclamation proclaiming Monday, Jan. 17, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Opelousas.

The national theme for this year’s remembrance was “It Starts With Me.” Following an invocation the singing of Lift Every Voice was performed by Thorne S. LaCroix, Brilee Thomas and Leah Gabrielle Joseph. Musical selections were accompanied by the Holy Ghost Choir conducted by Steve Smith. Other musical selections were performed by Eltonez “Cookie” Salton and the all male group In Jesus’ Name. A Liturgical dance was performed by Benda Williams and Gloria Romar.

Mistress of Ceremonies was Angela Cassimere with Rep. Dustin Miller serving as keynote speaker. Other guest speakers included Chief Martin McLendon, St Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard, Divine Nicholas and Patrick Fontenot.