Remember Martin Luther King, Jr. at a SoCal Event

Volunteer, watch a parade, or join a festival in the days ahead.

What to Know

  • Monday, Jan. 15
  • Parades, festivals, days of service in honor of the civil rights leader
  • Fee-charging national parks will be free on Jan. 15

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

It's a profound and ever-timely call to action, one made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over six decades ago, and the strongly felt sentiment of his statement continues to inspire the generations that have followed.

It follows, then, that many people choose to spend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day volunteering, reaching out, pitching in, and engaging in an act of charity or service to the community, all to honor the civil rights leader's important legacy.

That will again happen in 2018, along with the festivals and parades that have become synonymous with the memory-filled, tribute-sweet occasion. The observance is on Monday, Jan. 15, though note that one major event always happens on the Saturday prior to the holiday.

Follow your own heart to helping others, or connecting with those around you, at happenings like...

MLK Parade & Celebration: The Long Beach commemoration takes up much of a celebratory Saturday, on the 13th of January, beginning with the parade at 10:30 a.m. and the celebration from noon to 6 o'clock. Where to go? King Park and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue will be central to the festivities.

The Scene

Want to find new things to do in Los Angeles? The Scene's lifestyle stories have you covered. Here's your go-to source on where the fun is across SoCal and for the weekend.

The first tulips — that would be plural, oh yes — are sprouting at Descanso Gardens

Sip Best Picture-inspired beverages at the Loews Hollywood Hotel

Kingdom Day Parade: The 33rd annual procession takes place on Monday, Jan. 15, with a 10 o'clock start time. The place to be for the beginning of the parade? Western and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Music, actors, floats, dancers, and dignitaries all play a joyful part in this popular and long-running parade.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: A whole host of to-dos are on the calendar at the California African American Museum on Monday, Jan. 15, including family activities, tunes, chances to listen to "a marathon reading" of Dr. King's speeches, and lots more. It's all free, too. Info, hours, the full schedule? Here.

Big Sunday Gathering: There's still time to sign up for the 6th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast at Big Sunday's Melrose Avenue headquarters. Some 25,000 pieces of clothing need to be sorted on Jan. 15 — they'll be donated to a number of organizations — and you can donate clothing in addition to volunteering.

National Day of Service: Spending Jan. 15 working with others on a variety of projects, including projects at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area? Here's where you start. A blood drive at Cedars-Sinai, assisting at the Kingdom Day Parade, and other lend-your-time happenings await. Look here, and give your heart, strength, know-how, and kindness to the community on the occasion of Dr. King's birth.

National Parks: To honor the memory of Dr. King, all fee-charging national parks will waive their usual admission on Monday, Jan. 15. Get the details now.

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