SAN ANTONIO - Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to march through the city's East Side on Monday to honor the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The march is considered to be among the largest such event in the United States and draws an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people annually.
The 2.75-mile trek begins at 10 a.m. at MLK Academy in the 3500 block of MLK Drive and end at Pittman-Sullivan Park at 1101 Iowa, where a commemorative program will be held featuring nationally recognized journalist Roland Martin as the keynote speaker.
Elected officials are also expected to participate. There will also be food booths, music and activities for all to enjoy.
This year’s MLK March also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1st March for Justice organized by the late Rev. Dr. Raymond "R.A." Callies, Sr., a San Antonio teacher and pastor.
Rev. Callies began the March in 1968 to call attention to the need for basic infrastructure on the East Side.
The MLK Jr. Commission and City of San Antonio held the first official Martin Luther King, Jr. March on Jan. 19, 1987.
Other events honoring King include a youth summit, a wreath-laying ceremony, a citywide interfaith worship service, musical performances and art exhibit.
The commission will award thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students through the Commission's Dream Scholar Program and Scholarship Fund.
The Dream Scholar Program was introduced in 2015 as a call-to-action to San Antonio colleges and universities to each fund one full scholarship to their respective institutions for minority students.
VIA Metropolitan Transit will provide complimentary bus service to and from the March and commemorative program.
Passengers may access free service to the March from 8 to 10 a.m. at two locations:
- Freeman Coliseum, 3201 E. Houston St. (Lot 1)
- St. Philip's College, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr. (Lot 22) at Montana and Mittman streets.
The drop-off point for service to the march will be on MLK Drive, west of Upland Drive.
Buses will return passengers to the original pick-up locations from noon to 3 p.m.
Participants may access return service at Pittman-Sullivan Park.
Information on road closures:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. from Hein Rd to Bookertee Rd will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until the MLK march reaches IH-10
- IH-10 Exit Ramps for Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. will be closed from 9:15 a.m. until the MLK march reaches New Braunfels
- Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. from Hein to New Braunfels, New Braunfels from Montana to Aransas, Iowa from New Braunfels to Pine will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Iowa will remain closed between New Braunfels and Palmetto from 12-4:30 p.m.
Residents only will be allowed access after 10 a.m. to the following areas:
- Dilworth from New Braunfels to Welhousen
- Harding from New Braunfels to Welhousen
- Nevada from New Braunfels to Connelly
- Dakota from New Braunfels to Connelly
- St. Anthony from Iowa to Virginia
- Palmetto from Virginia to Montana
- MLK Dr. from Piedmont to Palmetto
- Nevada from Piedmont to New Braunfels (VIA Park and Ride)
- Paul from Piedmont to Palmetto
- Dakota from Toledo to New Braunfels (School Bus pickup)
- Wyoming from Toledo to Palmetto
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