Southern California

Join Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events Around SoCal

The Peace & Unity Celebration in Long Beach and the Kingdom Day Parade will remember the civil rights leader.

What to Know

  • Monday, Jan. 21
  • Several events, including the Kingdom Day Parade
  • The Long Beach parade is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19; some events happen in advance of the holiday

Finding a place to volunteer, to take part in a day of service for our neighbors and community, to perform a good deed, or to honor the day with each other at a parade or festival is the focus as we approach the annual observance in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lasting legacy.

But keeping in mind that some events may take place earlier in the weekend, ahead of Monday, Jan. 21, is a solid plan, especially if you'd like to attend the large-scale event in Long Beach or concert in Santa Monica.

Check out some of the major Southern Californian events remembering Dr. King on the official occasion of his birthday, like...

The Long Beach Peace & Unity Parade and Celebration: As is tradition, the well-attended parade will take place on the Saturday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. That's Saturday, Jan. 19 in 2019, and you'll want to head for King Park, which is a hub for the celebratory happenings, which have included live music performances, food vendors, and lots more in years gone by. The parade's start time, by the by? It's 10:30 a.m., and the fest'll follow at the park, right around noon or a bit beyond.

Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra: Find your seat for the annual Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend Concert, which will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 19 at SGI Auditorium. Pieces by Mendelssohn and Mozart are on the bill, as is "We Shall Overcome," the final selection of the day. The price for the concert? It's free, as is a nearby place to park. The orchestra site has what you need to know.

California African American Museum Celebration: A whole line-up of activities and events are on the Jan. 21 line-up at the museum, including a tribute performance by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. A group discussion, which will follow a listening session devoted to the 1968 speech Dr. King made in LA (with an introduction by James Baldwin), is also on the museum's busy roster of moving and memorable happenings.

Kingdom Day Parade: The 2019 theme of the Monday, Jan. 21 to-do is "Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Democracy." If you'd like to be at the famous parade, all to watch "America's Biggest Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." in person, do consider finding your spot along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, just west of Western. Find details here and keep in mind that this is always very well-attended, meaning arriving early is paramount. 

MLK Day of Service: It's billed as a "day on, not a day off," and finding a place to do something good for someone, or needed, or helpful, or lasting around Southern California can begin at the Day of Service online headquarters. Some of the 2019 goings-on around our area? A blood drive at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and a pitch-in day at George Washington Carver Middle School (you'll be lending love to the facilities in numerous ways). LA Works is the organization behind the volunteer event.

2019 Annual MLK Breakfast: Look to this morningtime meet-up to take place on the Saturday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, on the 26th. An individual ticket is $50, the Los Angeles Inter Alumni Council of UNCF is the host, and the location is the Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald Community Center. Part of the goal of the get-together? Money will be raised "... to help send more students to and through college."

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