Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the celebration of the Atlanta-born civil rights leader, may be our greatest holiday. The coming days are filled with incredible expressions of art and community. There are dozens of celebrations listed on on AccessAtlanta.com, but here are some of the highlights. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments, too!
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 18th Annual “A King Celebration” Concert
The concert features the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis’s new symphonic work, “Blues Symphony,” plus performances by the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs.
8 p.m. $25. King International Chapel at Morehouse College, 830 Westview Dr. S.W., Atlanta. 404-681-2800, www.atlantasymphony.org.
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration
This kid-friendly event features a reading of “My Brother Martin” by Christine King Farris and a puppet show, “A Dream Shared by Two,” birthday cake and more. See more January events at the King National Historic Site.
10 a.m.-noon Jan. 15. Free, reservations required. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Visitors Center, 450 Auburn Ave. N.E, Atlanta. 404-331-6922 ext. 3625, www.nps.gov/malu.
The 14th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr. Birthday Celebration
Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove speaks during the King Day celebration. She also will record an episode of WABE’s “Between the Lines” at 9:45 a.m. at Georgia Perimeter College’s Clarkston Campus Cole Auditorium.
7-9 p.m. Free. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, 2340 Clifton Spring Road, Decatur. 678-891-2555, www.gpc.edu/mlk.
Martin Luther King Day Jr. Celebration
The Georgia State Defense Force Band presents a musical tribute to King at 11:30 a.m. inside the Visitor Center Auditorium. That’s followed at 2 p.m. by a presentation by Alveda C. King, King’s niece, and a performance by the U.S. Naval Academy Gospel Choir.
11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. King Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave. N.E., and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-688-7300, www.nps.gov./malu.
Dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Mural
Mayor Kasim Reed and other speakers will dedicate a 125-foot mural designed by artist Louis Delsarte and painted with the help of volunteers. The dedication will be followed by a reception.
2 p.m. Jan. 17. Free. Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium back wall and Peace Plaza at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave. N.E., Atlanta. www.atlanta.gov.
Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service
Princeton University scholar Cornel West gives the keynote address at this service, along with guests Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, Mayor Kasim Reed, King Center Vice Chair/Treasurer Christine King Farris and Elder Bernice King. The service will be broadcast live outside on a 12 by 19 foot screen.
10 a.m. Jan. 18. Free. Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Ave., Atlanta. 404-526-8911, www.thekingcenter.org.
Open house for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birth Home
Tour King’s Old Fourth Ward birth home. Meet with National Park Service rangers at the steps and walking through the house where King lived for the first 12 years of his life.
10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Jan. 18. Free. Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, 501 Auburn Ave. N.E., Atlanta. www.nps.gov/malu.
Annual King Summit Freedom Rally and Service Day
The annual Hands on Atlanta service summit features a conversation between Congressman John Lewis and Doug Shipman, executive diretor of the Center for Civil and Human Rights Partnership. The summit is followed by a day of volunteer projects hosted by Hands on Atlanta.
8:30 a.m. summit Jan. 18. Free. Morehouse School of Medicine Auditorium, 720 Westview Drive S.W., Atlanta. For more info or to sign up for service projects, visit http://mlk.handsonatlanta.org.
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday March and Rally
The annual March is held on Auburn Avenue from Peachtree Street to Jackson Street. The rally is held on Auburn Avenue around the King National Historic Site. The parade route will be closed to traffic.
1-4 p.m. march and rally. Auburn Avenue, Atlanta. 404-589-4843 , http://www.mlkmarchaaar.org.
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