Oneida County, NY (WIBX) - Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday observed across the country and here in Oneida County, residents are preparing for the occasion.

The local NAACP is holding its annual Prayer Breakfast at 7:30AM on Monday, January 17th at the First United Methodist Church located at 400 N. George Street in Rome. The event will be followed by a special devotional program at 9:30AM in the church sanctuary with a guest speaker and special presentations by area youths.

According to the release this year's theme is, "Celebrate -- A Day On Not A Day Off." All are invited to attend and donations are being requested. The cost for adults is $5; students $3, and free for children under 5-years old. Phonon Perrilloux, Rome NAACP Branch President will be a guest on First Look on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to highlight the occasion.

Also, the Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club is marking the day with its annual luncheon at the Radisson Hotel in Utica. The event starts at Noon on January 17th and ticket prices are $35 per person, or $350 for a table of 10. The group is encouraging local organizations, "to show their commitment to the dreams and goals of Dr. King" by purchasing or sponsoring a table at the event.  The group is also planning to award college scholarships to deserving students from Rome and Utica schools.

According to the release, Doris Wyley, a former Utican will be the guest speaker at the event. The organization's Vice President, Rich Davis said, "Martin Luther King Day is not a day off, it is a day for all of us to renew our energies and connections so that we can address the problems of our community and provide opportunity for all people."

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is marked on the third Monday in January. Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929 and died on April 4, 1968, after he was shot by James Earl Ray, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King's leadership during the Civil Rights movement earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and his "I Have A Dream" speech is still considered by many to be one of the most prolific speeches ever given.