Montgomery area plans many events to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday

Though Monday is the official federal holiday, the River Region is celebrating this champion of civil rights throughout the weekend and beyond

Shannon Heupel
Montgomery Advertiser
Martin Luther King Jr. visits Maggie Street Baptist Church to rally support for the Poor People's Campaign.

Though Monday is the official federal holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the River Region is celebrating his legacy of this champion of civil rights and faith throughout the weekend and beyond in a variety of ways — with a video contest for youths, a downtown music event, art and film presentations, days of community service and many virtual events. 

While many events are free, some may require ticket purchases or registrations. 

Guests attending any in-person events should remember to wear their masks and practice social distancing, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Friday

The March Continues: Building Collective Power to Impact Policy and Dismantle Systems of Oppression in 2021 and Beyond: Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Civil Rights Memorial Center will host a Zoom webinar panel discussion with activists and public servants, and a message by Sheyann Webb-Christburg. (Register at splcenter.org/mlk-event

2021 MLK Student Perspectives Video Contest: Deadline is Friday at noon for Montgomery students age 8-13 and 14-18 to submit a brief video of their favorite quote from one of King’s speeches, sermons or interviews, and then explain why the quote resonates with them today. (Email them to contest@montgomeryal.gov)

“MLK/FBI”: Film shown at Montgomery’s Capri Theatre at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday-Monday, starring Martin Luther King Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover, with tickets ranging from $4-10. (334-262-4858 or capritheatre.org). 

Saturday

MLK Weekend of Service: Volunteers gather from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday and Monday at 622 Claudete Colvin Drive, Montgomery, to beautify the outside of Claudette Colvin’s home and the surrounding King Hill Community, and work on the community garden and commemorative mural. (Register at volunteer.handsonriverregion.org and call 334-590-4170 or email kasanta.sanders@montgomeryal.gov)

17th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Cleveland Avenue YMCA or online at http://studentymca.org. (Contact Hayley White at hwhite@ymcamontgomery.org). 

MLK and the Freedom Rides: A 60th Anniversary Reflection: A virtual event live on Zoom, made available on the Freedom Rides Museum’s Facebook page Saturday at 10 a.m., featuring Dr. Charles Person, the youngest of the original 13 Freedom Riders sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1961.

25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Virtual Gathering: Free online event Saturday 10 a.m. (aulmlkgathering.swell.gives)

7th annual MLK Community Celebration: Broadcast Saturday 6:30 p.m. on WSFA-TV 12, it features a mixture of music and drama, with the MLK Interfaith Community Choir and the ASU Dramatic Guild and BFA Dance Company (334-229-6755 or www.keepersofthedream.org).

MLK Weekend Music Festival: Saturday, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. starring Sunshyn, J-WONN, T.K. Soul, Vick Allen, Angel Faye Russell and Sir Duke at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa, 201 Tallapoosa St. (tickets $40 at eventbrite.com)

Monday

MLK vehicle parade: Prattville will have a vehicle only, no walkers, parade starting at 8:30 a.m. on Martin Luther King Day. The route is from Mac Gray Park on MLK Drive, across from Prattville Junior High, then down MLK, East Main Street to Northington Street to Stanley Jensen Stadium at Pratt Park.

46th MLK Birthday Celebration: Virtual on Monday 10 a.m. from Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where King was a pastor from 1954-1960. (dexterkingmemorial.org)

Tuesday

Martin Luther King Jr. Reflections Breakfast Livestream: A virtual event at 9 a.m. from AUM featuring Dr. Bernard Lafayette. (aim.edu/MLKbreakfast)

Wednesday

Creative Conversations: How has art contributed to the legacy of MLK Jr.?: Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art’s Facebook page (@MontgomeryMFA) look at how art (or lack thereof) has shaped the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, with Madeline Burkhardt of the Rosa Parks Museum and Wanda Battle of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at sheupel@gannett.com.