The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration is a long standing tradition of the MLK Center and will mark its 35th Anniversary with a weekend long celebration with events that honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Special events include the MLK Celebration Fair, a candlelight ceremony hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a formal awards banquet, and a parade down MLK Boulevard.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Breaking the Chains of Injustice.”
The weekend kicks off on Friday, Jan. 13 with the MLK Celebration Fair which is a combination job fair, health fair, and college fair, designed to bring health, employment, and educational opportunities to South Dallas. The Fair is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MLK Recreation Center 2901 Pennsylvania Ave.
Friday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. are sponsoring the Candlelight Service. Winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Essay Contest will be announced during the ceremony. Prizes will be distributed at the MLK Awards Banquet.
The MLK Awards Banquet is a grand affair on Saturday at the Fairmont Hotel starting at 5:30 p.m. The Annual Awards Banquet is a time for the MLK Community Center to honor and recognize its supporters with a special awards ceremony.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Guests can enjoy dinner, a silent auction, and a live performance from the Dillard University choir. After the banquet is the “Afterglow” event, a professional mixer and networking opportunity.
Then the celebration closes out with the Annual MLK Parade which kicks off at 10 a.m. at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and Holmes Street and ends at Fair Park.
The weekend events in Dallas will also include 34th Annual Emmy Nominated Black Music & Civil Rights Movement Concert. This year’s concert is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The 1960s proved to be a painful and triumphant time in America’s civil rights movement. This two time Emmy award nominated concert tribute dramatizes and reflects on the moments and memories of the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A compelling evening of narration, music and dance features special guest artists, B. Slade, Bilal, Earnest Pugh and Malik Yoba as well as the 200 voice concert choir.
Tickets are $25 and available at TBAAL.org.
NAACP Garland hosting 28th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and March
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Garland, Texas will host its 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade and march on Saturday, Jan. 14 beginning at 10 a.m.
The parade starts on Dairy Road and Garden Drive (near Embree Park) and ends at the Granville Arts Center located at 300 North Fifth at Austin Streets, in downtown Garland.
2017 MLK Commemorative Program
The 2017 theme is “Claiming ALL of Our Dreams in 2017.” Members of Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi Fraternities will serve as grand marshals. The celebration continues immediately following the parade with an MLK Commemorative Program on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 11:45 a.m at the Granville Arts Center, located at 300 N. 5th Street, in downtown Garland.
The audience will hear the MLK Community-wide Youth Choir led by clinician Reuben Lael Griffin in concert. Top three winners of the 2017 MLK Parade and March Float Contest will be announced at the program.
MLK Youth Extravaganza
Youth groups from area churches and the Garland ISD will showcase their spiritual talents in praise dance and athletic talents in step routines on Sunday afternoon at 300 N. 5th Street, beginning at 4 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public.
For more information on these events, visit www.garlandtxnaacp.org.
MLK Arts Celebration
Join the City of Irving to honor the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a special event to be held 6 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. This celebration is free and open to the public.
The 2017 event will feature a radio show tribute, including the news, pop culture, politics, sports and history of the 1960s through a compilation of audio, video and live performances.
Free MLK Luncheon
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at this free spaghetti luncheon provided by the Irving-Carrollton chapter of the NAACP. In addition to the luncheon, attendees will also hear from special guest speakers. The event is scheduled for Jan. 16 from Noon to 2 p.m. at the Georgia Farrow Recreation Center located at 530 Davis Drive.
The MLK Parade in Carrollton hosted by the Irving-Carrollton NAACP chapter will begin with participants lining up at City Hall at 9 a.m. located at 1945 E. Jackson Road. The parade is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.