Parades and Remembrances: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The Kingdom Day Parade and several gatherings will reflect upon the leader's legacy.

Taking the third Monday in January to remember a man who served as a beacon for the civil rights movement is something anyone can do wherever they might be. But paying homage to Martin Luther King, Jr. with others who wish to do the same is part of the true-hearted tradition of the day held in his honor, an annual remembrance that's about memory, purpose, and, of course, the future.

A number of organizations and places around Southern California will remember Dr. King over the weekend preceding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is on Monday, Jan. 19 this year. Want to join in and reflect? You can head for...

The Kingdom Day Parade: It's the 30th annual parade, which carries a 2015 theme of "Love and Respect: Let It Begin With Me." The parade begins at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Vermont Avenue at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, and heads west with a turn south onto Crenshaw. (NBC4 is a parade sponsor.)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 42nd Annual Celebration: The city of Gardena's venerable parade includes "bands," "celebrities," "drill teams," and cool old-school autos. The date? Saturday, Jan. 17. Make for Marine Avenue and Van Ness for the 10 a.m. kick-off.

Day of Service: This always well-attended volunteer happening bustles, and this year won't be any different. CityYear has closed registration on signing up for pitch-in projects scheduled for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but there is a wait list. Or you can keep your eye to getting involved next year, or, better yet, well ahead of next year, all in the name of the man who inspired the giveback gatherings.

Peace & Unity Parade and Celebration: The City of Long Beach also hosts its own parade on Saturday, Jan. 17. And following the parade? A party at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The "free celebratory afternoon of music" will include performers "whose vision coincides with King's voice for justice, peace, and civil rights. The pre-party parade opens at 10:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street. 

Free National Park Day: The National Park Service honors Dr. King each year by waiving gate admission at the 133 parks that charge a fee. In California that includes Joshua Tree and Yosemite, but start your journey to find a peaceful, ready-to-reflect spot here.

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