The holiday in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin L. King Jr. is still relatively new, and areas locally have each adopted their own observance for this year's event on Jan. 20.

The 25th annual parade and program in El Cerrito is cited as the longest continuous celebration of the holiday in West County and starts with 9 a.m. assembly in the parking lot of the DMV office, 6400 Manila Ave. The parade sets out at 9:30 a.m. for El Cerrito High School, where a rally, singers and speakers make up the program in the Performing Arts Center, 540 Ashbury Ave., from 10:30 to noon.

Sponsors include the city's Human Relations Commission, St. Peter CME Church, the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP and the West Contra Costa School District.

  • Berkeley will observe the day by honoring the next generation of young leaders at the third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Awards Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. at Hs Lordships, 199 Seawall Drive at the Berkeley Marina.

    More than 400 attended last year's event, say organizers, who expect a larger turnout and want to see the observance continue to grow. "We encourage participation of young leaders in our community," they add, and sponsors for deserving attendees are sought.

    Tickets and details are available at www.berkeleymlkjrday.com.

  • Richmond will again observe the holiday with its Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along the stretch of the Richmond Greenway between Sixth and 16th streets at Chanslor and Ohio avenues.

    The event is an opportunity to turn ideals into action by helping with community service projects in a part of the city that could use a helping hand.

    The day is sponsored by the city's volunteer program Richmond ESC (Excellence Serving our Community) and the Friends of the Richmond Greenway, and organizers say there will be "healthy food, lively music, and plenty of service projects."

    For more details contact Stephanie Hervey at forg@communityorgs.info or 510-730-0278, or Rochelle Monk at 510-620-6511.

    Point Richmond concert: Glenn Houston and Travis Jones, along with special guest Stevie Coyle, are on the bill at the next Point Richmond Acoustic concert at 8 p.m. Jan. 10.

    Houston and Jones are polished performers of Americana music influenced by folk, rock, country and blues. Guitarist Coyle, formerly a member of the Waybacks, opens the show at historic First Methodist Church of Point Richmond, 201 Martina Ave. Tickets at the door are $18 general, $15 students and seniors.

    The concert series is co-sponsored by Point Richmond Music, Folk Unlimited and First United Methodist Church. Details: www.pointacoustic.org.

    WEST COUNTY NOTES: Contra Costa Civic Theatre, 951 Pomona Ave. in El Cerrito, is looking for volunteers from 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Jan. 11 to help build the set for its next production, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare." If you can make it, wear work clothes and closed toe shoes. Along with a chance to see and be part of the behind-the-scenes activity, you can look forward to lunch and soft drinks.

  • An expanded series of film screenings aboard the SS Red Oak Victory in Richmond has been announced by the National Park Service and the Richmond Museum of History, starting with the 1955 comedy "Mr. Roberts," starring Henry Fonda and James Cagney, at 7 p.m. Jan. 16. Admission is a $5 donation to board the historic ship at 1337 Canal Blvd. For directions and details call 510-237-2933 or visit www.ssredoakvictory.com.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway.