Rochester MN (KROC AM News) - Construction activity at the Government Center has prompted some changes to this year’s commemoration of the Martin Luther King Holiday in Rochester.

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For many years the Government Center has hosted youth activities and the rally that has preceded a march through downtown Rochester to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision for the nation. Because of the ongoing expansion and renovation work at the government center, the youth activities have been moved to the third floor of the University of Minnesota-Rochester starting at 10 a.m. and the rally will take place in the Peace Plaza at 11:45 a.m. That will be followed by the annual Freedom March to the Rochester Civic Theater, where the commemorative celebration and birthday party for the slain civil rights leader will begin at 1 p.m.

During the evening, the Rochester Art Center will host the Youth Poetry Contest Winners Recital at 6:30 and the Adult Poetry and Spoken Word Slam at 7:30 p.m.

The celebration of the holiday actually begins Sunday afternoon with a Commemorative Church Service at Rochester Community Baptist Church at 4 p.m., and the first event on the actual holiday will be the “We Have a Dream” Breakfast sponsored by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

photo courtesy Gophersports.com

The breakfast is expected to draw a much larger crowd this year and will be held at the Mayo Civic Center beginning at 7 a.m. The price to attend has been dropped to $10 dollars and youth and their parents are eligible to attend for free by registering with the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Free bus rides will also be offered from John Marshall and Mayo High Schools to alleviate concerns about parking. 

JM graduate and Gophers linebackers coach Mike Sherels of Rochester is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Additional information is available at the Diversity Council website.

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