January 13, 2023 - January 16, 2023

Wheeling’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will span across the 4-day weekend, featuring concerts, marches, debates, speakers, dinner, awards, and more.

Events begin Friday with a 7 p.m. Shabbat Service at Temple Shalom.

A debate and discussion with college and high schoolers at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Wheeling University.

Later that day at 2 p.m., an MLK March will take place, with marchers gathering at the windmill atop of MLK Boulevard.

Following the march, five area residents will be honored at a community dinner and West Virginia Northern Community College.

Sheila McGhee and Becky Shilling-Rodocker will receive the Rosa Parks Award, while the Martin Luther King Award will be given to Charaun “CJ” Goodwin and Jerry Moore, Sr. The awards are given by the MLK Celebration Committee to recognize individuals for their contributions in eliminating racial inequity and promoting peace and harmony.

In addition, the committee will also honor Bishop Darrell W. Cummings for his devoted leadership, service and commitment to promoting Dr. King’s vision within the community.

The awards ceremony and dinner are open to the public. A $5 contribution to defray the cost of the meal is appreciated.

On Sunday, an Interfaith Prayer Service at Macedonia Baptist Church will be held at 6 p.m.

On Monday, the committee will hold children’s programming at Laughlin Memorial Chapel, including local students who won the MLK essay, music and video contests.

“We have a jam-packed weekend for everything,” YWCA Wheeling cultural diversity and community outreach director Ron Scott Jr. said.

“I think it’s important that they have to remember Dr. King, whether you agree with what’s happening with him, whether you agree that he’s made progress, if you agree that the dream has completely been deferred. It’s good to come out to remember the man the struggle and the sacrifice that he made.”

The MLK Celebration Committee is comprised of community volunteers including clergy, educators, organizational representatives and individuals interested in furthering the values of Dr. King in the community.