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Communities and groups across the nation will observe Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday on Jan. 21, including some in Arkansas.

Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia will hold a march and memorial program Jan. 21 to observe the day in honor of the civil-rights leader. The university said the memorial march will begin at 5 p.m. in the Miller's Cafeteria parking lot and conclude at the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center.

The memorial program is scheduled to follow at 5:30 p.m. in Foundation Hall with state Rep. Darrin Williams, D-Little Rock, as the keynote speaker, the university said in a news release.

Williams represents District 36 in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the city of Benton will participate in a community cleanup and parade Jan. 21 in observance of the holiday.

The cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. at the Ralph Bunche Park, the city announced in a statement.

The parade is scheduled to follow at 4 p.m.

Participation is free and applications can be picked up at the Central Arkansas Development Council office at 321 Edison Ave. in Benton. Parade lineup will take place at the Benton High football field, and the parade route will include portions of Market, North and Main streets before ending at South and Main streets, according to the statement.

The city of Benton also has activities planned for the weekend before the holiday, including a prayer breakfast, community celebration and memorial service.

This year's theme in Benton is "Be the Dream," which is based on a King quote, according to the release.

More information on the activities in Benton is available by calling Robin Freeman at (501) 776-7475 or Evelyn Reed at (501) 776-7122.

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