Ventura County will observe the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday Monday with a weekend of memorial celebrations and services.
A reception at 7 p.m. today at the Oxnard Community Center will feature an exhibit of work by local artists. A local theater group will present "Like It Is," a play about young people getting caught in the system, said Bedford Pinkard, chairman of the Martin Luther King Committee of Ventura County, which is sponsoring the event with the city of Oxnard and Oxnard College.
At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks will host a memorial celebration in the Preus-Brandt Forum. Dr. Robert Bland, an electrical engineer, will be the keynote speaker, and the Santa Barbara Community College gospel choir will perform.
On Monday, local officials, church leaders and residents plan to meet for prayers at 8:15 a.m. at Plaza Park at 5th and C streets in Oxnard and then march to the Oxnard Civic Auditorium.
The celebration will include proclamations, presentations, Scripture readings, gospel music and a continental brunch. The keynote speaker will be William B. Ingram, former president of the California School Board Assn. Sponsors of the march are the Martin Luther King Committee of Ventura County, the city of Oxnard and Oxnard College.
Later Monday, St. Paul's Baptist Church in Oxnard will hold services at 7 p.m. to observe King's birthday.