Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015 Events

2211124305_0624270c9a_zTomorrow we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, music, and even birthday cake. Yeah, you heard me – free cake.

You may choose to honor the memory of MLK by volunteering in your community. If you are interested in being of service throughout the year, you can sign up with The Corporation of National & Community Service.

If you are looking for somewhere you can just show up and lend a hand, here is a list of volunteer activities around Los Angeles. There are all kinds of opportunities, like gardening, beach cleanup and feeding the homeless, painting walls and painting murals.

Here are a few other ways you can celebrate the day.

Los Angeles’s 30th Annual Kingdom Day Parade (South LA/Leimert Park)

The parade will commence at 10:45 a.m. Monday at Vermont Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The route continues to Crenshaw Boulevard, where it turns south toward Leimert Park.  Here is a map of the parade route, related street closures and public transportation. “Metro’s float entry for this year’s parade is a 1950s replica of the bus Rosa Parks was seated in when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white bus rider. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the event.” You can also expect plenty of marching bands and drill teams. ABC7 will be broadcasting the parade live.

The 11th annual Kingdom Day Gospel Fest (Leimert Park)

From 11 a.m. to 5 pm., the gospel fest will take place on Crenshaw Boulevard between Vernon and 48th streets at the end of the parade route. There will also be a festival happening around Leimert Park.

Cake for King Community Celebration (Exposition Park)

The California African American Museum (CAAM) will host its annual open house on Monday, January 19, 2015, 11 am – 4 pm, with live music, art activities and birthday cake. (I told you there would be cake). (213) 744-7432.

Kidspace Muticultural Program (Pasadena)

Kidspace children’s museum in Pasadena will honor Dr. King’s mission of breaking down cultural walls by presenting a multicultural program of entertainment and activities from all over the world. There are “water features,” so bring a towel and a change of clothes. Open 9:30 am to 5 pm. (626) 449-9144.

“Advancing the Dream: The Time is Now” (Inglewood)

The City of Inglewood’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day begins at 9 a.m. Monday with speeches, musical performances and military displays at Crozier Middle School. (120 W. Regent St.) “A symbolic civil rights march will follow” at 11 a.m. to the The Forum at Manchester Boulevard and Prairie Avenue.  Activities at The Forum will feature vendors, food, music from local choirs and community groups, and live music from Toni Malone, Chris “The Hammer” Smith, and First Church of Compton.  310-412-8750.

30th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration (Santa Monica)

If you are interested in social justice, Santa Monica’s event features speaker Gabriella Rosco. She will speak about “working for systemic changes …and “[addressing] the root causes of injustice through a social movement.” Gospel singer Linda Alvarez will perform a medley of songs from Mahalia Jackson. The presentation of this year’s Community Light Award, “readings from Dr. King’s work, and dance performances are also featured.”

Image by NoHo Damon via Flickr

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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