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MLK Day celebrations go on in Donaldsonville despite cancellations across capital area

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DONALDSONVILLE - Volunteers spent their Martin Luther King holiday planting food, their way of honoring runaway slaves who sought freedom through the Underground Railroad.

They are working in the Freedom Garden at the River Road African American Museum's Rosenwald School in Donaldsonville .

"You think about how much of Dr. King's life, how many hours, how many days of his lifetime did he give to us, service back to humanity," Museum Founder Kathe Hambrick said.

The volunteers also raked leaves and placed brick markers bearing the names of donors.

Local pastor and chairman of the city council, Charles Brown, came to help too.

"When people celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, we didn't want it to be a day that people just sit home and relax. This is a day of service," Rev. Brown said.

While the King Day activities went on as planned in Donaldsonville, other local events were either canceled, postponed or held virtually because of the most recent coronavirus surge.

Even though the event in Donaldsonville was held in person, there was about one-third of the usual turnout. COVID precautions were also in place.

"Every year it's outdoors so we can be in the garden, we can be in the community. I have my mask. We encourage everybody to wear their mask, even though we are outside,"
Hambrick said.

Martin Luther King Day events in Baton Rouge and Baker were postponed this year because of the virus.

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