Celebrations to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Events are gearing up across the area in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. FOX 2's George Sells is live in north St. Louis where the first of several observances will be held in remembrance of the slain civil rights leader.

The day will start for many with a breakfast at the Monsanto Family YMCA. This is an event that has been taking place for thirty years in observance of the King Holiday.

The nation began observing MLK Day, as many call it back in 1986, three years after it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.  It met resistance in some states, but not in Missouri. The St. Louis observance is among the oldest, and still touted as the second largest celebration of Dr. King's legacy in the nation.  The breakfast is just one of a number of things going on today.

The largest events downtown will begin at nine with a civic ceremony at the old courthouse.

A memorial march of freedom begins at 11a.m. and there will be an interfaith service at Harris Stowe University beginning at 12:30p.m.

Many also take the holiday as a day of service, which was also passed in to law by Congress back in the 1990's.