Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday and various events have been planned for the weekend and Monday.
Here are some events happening in honor of King's legacy.
The Marlboro County Branch of the NAACP will hold their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in partnership with the Bennettsville Bicentennial beginning at noon Saturday, January 19. The grand marshal for the parade will be Gaither Homecoming Artist Lynda Randle.
Community Grand Marshals will be the Marlboro County First Response Leaders: EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement & Emergency Management.
The beat of Marlboro County Sheriff's Office School Resource Officers Patrick Legette and Ross Childers involves patrolling and forming bonds.
But instead of patrolling the back roads of the county, their time is spent inside classrooms, hallways, and cafeterias of Blenheim and Wallace Elementary Middle Schools.
As school resource officers, their priority is keeping peace at their schools -- Legette at BEMS and Childers at WEMS.
It could mean fist bumping students as they head to lunch or joining them in a basketball game during P.E. Both Legette and Childers said they are law-related educators and counselors and to some, surrogate parents.
"We are there to show that while we have a badge on, we are human too," Legette said. "We try to humanize us as police officers especially to kids."
Childers tries to incorporate the students into his routine of making sure the school is secure. One day, he noticed the children in line preparing to go to art class. He got in line with them and walked single file with them.
"They thought it was the most hilarious thing," he said. "I did it to bond with the kids and to have fun with them. I was doing this as I was doing my duties."
Both talked about what separates regular SROs from great SROs.
A regular SRO will know the kids from a facial standpoint, he said.
The Marlboro County Board of Education chairman and two new members were installed on the board Monday night.
Board chairman Larry McNeil took the oath of office along with new members Rev. James Smith in District 5 and Katherine Manville in District 8.
McNeil welcomed those in attendance.
"It means a lot for all of us to have so many people here," he said. "We pray and hope you will continue coming."
After the installation ceremony, where Solicitor Will Rogers presided, board members had an executive session. They returned to elect a vice chairman and secretary for the board. Board members voted by paper ballot.
Marlboro County Council elected officers for the new year during its first meeting of 2019.
Dr. Carolyn Prince will continue to serve as the chairman of the council. The council voted unanimously for a second consecutive one-year term for Prince as the group’s leader.
"I want to thank everyone for their confidence in me," said Prince, who represents District 5 on the council.
The council also voted for Jason Steen, who represents District 1, to another term as the vice-chairman. Prior to serving as vice-chair, Steen had been the chairman for two years.
Prior to the election of officers, councilmen Anthony Woods (District 8), Corrie Plato (District 4), Steen and Steve Blackmon (District 7) took the oath of office. All four were re-elected for another term in November.
Wednesday, City of Bennettsville utility crews took down the holiday banners and put up new banners recognizing Bennettsville’s bicentennial. The year will feature a number of special activities, concerts and events celebrating the milestone. Photo by Dan McNiel