The Crossett Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance Committee has announced that this year it will not organize a parade or public gathering.

The committee is stressing, however, that while those who wish to honor the civil rights icon’s legacy should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for COVID-19 in terms of congregating, each person should still find a way to continue the work that the holiday represents.

“Please note that this holiday is also defined as a day of service,” a letter from committee chair Lendora Early says. “It is a day on, not a day off. Perhaps we can find creative ways to serve without the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.”

Some ways the committee has suggested community members mark the occasion include the display of celebratory messages on marquees, banners or signs. The holiday is officially celebrated Jan. 18.

The committee’s theme for this year is, “The Urgency of Creating the Beloved Community.” Though the march is not happening, the committee is selling short and long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies.

Those who would like to purchase a shirt should contact Juanita Hollins at 870-415-0633, Jason Bivens at 870-500-0134, or Pat Todd at 870-814-3526.

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