Monday rally and marches set for MLK Day

Participants from all walks of life are expected to meet at the Charles R. Drew Health Center on Monday morning, joined in unison to mark the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for an annual march and celebration of the slain civil rights leader’s life.

MORE: A look back at Martin Luther King Jr.’s visits to Dayton

King, a husband, pastor, scholar and father of four children, was born Jan. 15, 1929, and died April 4, 1968, after being shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.

The annual MLK Day celebration and march in Dayton, presented by MLK Dayton Inc., begins at 10 a.m. at the Charles R. Drew Health Center, 1323 W. Third Street, Dayton and will end at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 East 5th Street.

The march historically unfolded over the Third Street bridge, also called the Peace Bridge, but the route has changed because the bridge is undergoing a $16 million replacement. It was closed earlier this month and is scheduled to reopen in October of 2021.

Kimberly Gaither of MLK Dayton said that all those who want to march should be in place by 9:30 a.m. at the health center. It is not recommended to join the march after it starts.

“The route has changed slightly since the bridge has closed,” Gaither explained, adding that those in the march will make their way to Edwin C. Moses Blvd. and then will make a left on Fifth Street that will lead them to the Convention Center.

“Then we will immediately have the Youth Celebration program at the Convention Center,” Gaither said. “We will have speakers and entertainment. Following the program, our sponsors have arranged for the youth to be able to go to the Neon theater to see the movie, ‘Harriet.’”

MORE: $16M Third Street bridge to include art, will seek to heal divide

The community is invited to ride free on all RTA buses and RTA Connect paratransit services all day on Monday. RTA buses will operate on a Saturday service schedule in observance of the holiday, except for The Flyer, which will run regular weekday service.

The RTA is a sponsor of the MLK Dayton events and will provide free shuttle service between the Dayton Convention Center and the Dr. Charles R. Drew Health Center for anyone participating in the march and rally. At the end of the march and rally, RTA will run shuttle service from approximately 10:50 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Due to the march, rolling roadblocks are planned throughout downtown Dayton. There will be intermittent service delays and reroutes on Routes 1, 2, 4, 8, 19, and The Flyer, as the march progresses between approximately 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. There will also be temporary closures of some stops when the march is on Main Street and Fifth Street. A temporary stop for The Flyer will be placed at St. Clair Street and Fifth Street to accommodate the Transportation Garage.

Two other marches are planned for Monday morning, as the Delta Xi Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will sponsor its annual Freedom Walk from the Central State University Wilberforce campus to downtown Xenia, followed by speakers at the Xenia Courthouse and a men’s wellness event on campus in the University Student Center.

In Yellow Springs, the annual MLK March will begin at 10 a.m. starting near the Subway restaurant on Xenia Avenue, and it will go through the middle of town and end up at the John Bryan Community Center on Dayton Street for a program. Also, there is a program at 9 a.m. at the Coretta Scott King Center, located on the campus of Antioch College prior to the march.

MORE: Dayton area MLK events on schedule for January

Streets to Be Closed Monday for MLK March:

Following are the scheduled street closures (provided by the Dayton Police Department) for the Martin Luther King Day March on Monday. The march kicks off from 1323 W. Third St. at approximately 10 a.m. and ends at the Dayton Convention Center around 10:45 a.m. or shortly after.

The entire primary march route will be closed to vehicular traffic. Streets will be closed as required and directed by the parade commander.

The following streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic:

• West Third Street from Paul Laurence Dunbar Street to Edwin C. Moses Blvd.

• Broadway from Second Street to Fourth Street

• Edwin C. Moses Boulevard from Washington to Third Street

• Robert Drive from Third Street to Fifth Street

• Fourth Street from Wilkinson to Robert Drive

• Perry Street from Third Street to Fifth Street

• Wilkinson Street from Fourth Street to Fifth Street

• Ludlow Street from Fourth Street to Fifth Street

• South Main Street from Fourth Street to Fifth Street

• Fifth Street from Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to Jefferson Street

Due to the length of the route, intersecting streets will be closed on an as-needed basis to facilitate vehicular traffic while providing safety for the participants.

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