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Get set in your Sunday best to celebrate MLK’s birthday at The Palace

Get cookin’ for MLK Day 2018

This Sunday, 14 January, sees the second Martin Luther King Jr Day hosted at The Palace in Hastings Town Centre. Organiser, Claudine Eccleston, tells HOT’s Erica Smith why she wants to see the whole town there, in our Sunday Best.


Claudine on the left (holding baby) with her sister, Erica Tate on the right

Claudine Eccleston has lived in Hastings for about five years now, but she’s been celebrating Martin Luther King Day since she lived in the USA in the 1980s.

When I asked her why she always celebrates Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, she said: “In the current climate, it’s even more important than ever to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy of LOVE, NON-VIOLENCE and SOCIAL JUSTICE.”

Claudine is delighted that The Palace are hosting the event. She’s even more excited that this year, the Bring-A-Dish tradition is being revived. “MLK Day was one of the first big events held at The Palace after its re-launch. They took a total leap of faith by letting us have the venue, and they were 100% on board from day one. This year, in keeping with MLK Day tradition, they have agreed to let everyone bring a dish of home-cooked food. We will provide (re-usable) plates and cutlery, and we’d love you to bring a dish to share. If you cook something that won’t need heating up and bring it in a disposable container that would be ideal.” Food will be shared between 3 and 5pm, and there will be activities for children. “MLK Day is always a family-friendly event,” said Claudine, “And remember to wear your Sunday Best. The emphasis is to dress up and share food – this is a feel good day to warm us up in the bleak mid-winter.”

00mlkdayposterPerformers will include Claudine’s choir, Voice Squad, singers Lily Kim and Alice Barnard, bands Taking Back Autumn and Letters from New York City. Headliner Doctor Savage will be on stage about 7.30pm. The bar will be open until 10pm. This year, the bands will be play in the backroom, leaving the main bar for DJs Funki Monkey (Alan Francis), Lee Humphries and Remi Vibesman. Popular Hastings man-about-town, David Francis, will be Master of Ceremonies for the day.

There is no charge for the event, and the DJs and performers are giving their time for free. Like last year, there will be a fundraiser for Guys and St Thomas’ Kidney Patients’ Association. Claudine is pictured above with her aunt Erica Tate. Last year, Erica organised a tombola for the Kidney Patients’ Association because she had to travel up to London three times a week for dialysis. Since then she has had a successful kidney transplant which has given her a new lease of life. Like Claudine, Erica is a great community campaigner and it’s been a delight to see her back on her feet with a new lease of life.

Claudine is keen to thank everyone who helps make this fabulous event possible – including her good friends Bev and Jill. This is the perfect opportunity for us all to take off our hats to campaigners for social justice – let’s turn up en masse, all dressed up with a dish of soul-food in our hands – and make Martin Luther King Jr proud of Hastings!

The event runs from 3–10pm on Sunday 14 January at The Palace,
White Rock, The America Ground TN34 1JL
You can find out more on the MLK Day Facebook page.

To read more about Martin Luther King Day in Hastings, visit the article on MLK Day 2017 on HOT.


Guests looking sharp at last year’s MLK event.

Posted 15:31 Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018 In: One Long Party

Also in: One Long Party

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