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Smithville to host virtual county MLK Jr. celebration

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    The annual Bastrop County Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk took place last year in downtown Elgin. File photo

The City of Smithville is honored to again host the 32nd Annual Bastrop County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission Celebration in Bastrop County. This program rotates between the cities of Bastrop, Elgin and Smithville each year. It represents a very solemn and dedicated commitment between all members of Bastrop County in coming together to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy.

This year’s Celebration takes place under extraordinary circumstances. We are not able to safely gather to walk together, and we are safer and stronger when we celebrate apart.

With the start of 2021, we are celebrating with a look back at our history, and a look to our future with a heightened awareness of the strength and power of peaceful protest and multicultural cooperation. We are celebrating under the shadow of shockingly parallel conditions to those that gave rise to MLK’s awesome leadership and powerful words. His work and legacy are in sharp focus this year, and we need his wisdom to help guide our ability to navigate our community into a more just and equitable future where zip codes don’t dictate health or wealth and where all members of the community are judged on the content of their characters.

But we must do this safely, as we share messages celebrating and promoting Dr. King’s legacy and the words of those who have picked up that baton and are running in that race today, as well as the students who will be moving the needle into the future.

The program is similar to that of years past, but you will find all the speechifying on this website: We encourage you to take a walk with your family and post selfies with the hashtag #BastropCountyMLKDay. We’ve also added a few videos to the lineup that would not have had time to be part of a live event due to time constraints. We sincerely hope that this website will be a source of inspiration for the entire year, not just the one day we allocate each year to celebrate the memory and legacy of the man.

MLK Day is called “A Day On, Not a Day Off” and therefore we are also celebrating our rich diversity of nonprofit organizations that can all use YOUR HELP on MLK Day and any other day of the year. Please consider reaching out to them to volunteer your time and efforts. Your involvement makes our community stronger. Every person in Bastrop County is important to this County, regardless of background, ethnicity, primary language, creed, or by any other measure of diversity. On MLK Day, we celebrate that diversity out loud, but every day we should continue to live in that light by respecting each other and encouraging everyone to become their best selves. Please join us.

Donations are requested for graduating seniors attending schools in Bastrop County including Bastrop High School, Cedar Creek High School, Colorado River Collegiate Academy, Elgin High School, McDade High School and Smithville High School. Last year the Commission joined together with scholarship committees throughout the county in a joint effort to assist the county’s youth obtain higher education. Scholarship can be awarded to students who apply to colleges and trade schools.

For additional information on the event contact Jill Strube at (512) 237-3282, Ext. 2109.