Advocate staff photo by BRIANNA PACIORKA -- Artist Courtney "Ceaux" Buckley works on a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service event held along Main Street in Mid City Baton Rouge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. Buckley created the design for the pictured mural.

Events to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy begin Friday in Baton Rouge and will continue throughout next week as the nation observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 16.

The Walls Project and others will hold a festival of service for four days, starting Friday and running through Monday. More than 70 businesses, churches and nonprofits are working together to paint murals, fix up houses and plant gardens along Gus Young Avenue.

The Walls Project expanded from a day of service in 2016 to a festival of service this year after last year's event was such a success. More than 1,000 volunteers painted murals, spruced up blighted property and painted cemetery fences in midcity last year.

Baton Rouge will also have its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade and march from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday starting at Mt. Zion First Baptist Church.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said the city-parish is partnering with local organizations to celebrate King's life.

She said various city-parish departments are joining the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, the Walls Project, and more than 70 other organizations to help paint murals, repair homes, plant community gardens, and clean up blighted properties.

Broome will speak at 2 p.m. at Gus Young Park, 4200 Gus Young Avenue. The festivities at the park on Monday will kick off at 9 a.m. with a performance by Bryson “Cupid” Bernard who is best known for his song “Cupid Shuffle.”

BR Hope Zone, meanwhile, will host a community resource fair on Monday to showcase various organizations and resources available in the community. There will be food and activities for the children.

Gus Young Avenue will be closed to traffic from 39th to 49th Streets between the hours of 6 a.m. to noon, city-parish officials said. 

Southern University is hosting an MLK day of service on Monday. Several student groups will build a community garden at Ryan Elementary School on Elm Grove Garden Drive.

Southern will also hold a "Dream in Color" service to honor King at 6:36 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19 starting at the MLK Catholic Center.

LSU will have a week of Martin Luther King, Jr. events. LSU is hosting a day of service on Monday, when students will be working at elementary schools, cleaning up communities and helping with housing restoration. A candlelight service will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the LSU bell tower.

LSU will hold an MLK commemorative program from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Union Theater. New York Daily News reporter Shaun King will speak at the program and hold a fireside chat with students afterward.

The university will then hold an invitation-only unity reception at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Club, which is the former Faculty Club. LSU, Southern University and Baton Rouge Community College representatives will attend.

LSU will hold a performing arts night in honor of King at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Union Theater. Finally, the documentary "13th" about race and criminal justice will be screened at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center's McKernan Auditorium.

For the whole month of January, LSU is also hosting an MLK food drive. People can drop off items in room 455 of the LSU Student Union, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the African American Cultural Center.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will not affect garbage, trash or recycling schedules.

Most government offices will be closed on January 16, including the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's office, the 19th Judicial District Courthouse and all East Baton Rouge Parish libraries. BREC's administrative offices will be closed but most of its parks, recreation facilities, golf courses and the Baton Rouge Zoo will observe normal hours.

Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​