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Free Events in Washington DC on 2016 Martin Luther King Weekend

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WASHINGTON — This year’s holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday falls on Monday, Jan. 18, but there are numerous free events planned throughout our area over the coming days to honor the civil rights leader.



  • Poetry readings, musical performances, discussions and the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. address. The D.C. Public Library is hosting them all, over the next few weeks.
  • Watkins Elementary School students will continue their annual tradition of reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech aloud at the Lincoln Memorial. The readings begin at 1 p.m.
  • Mayor Allison Silberberg will give welcome remarks at Alexandria’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Program, and former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly will deliver the keynote address.
  • Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration event at the Anacostia Community Museum.
  • Arlington’s annual MLK Tribute Event will include music, spoken word and dance performances.  Performers include Clifton Ross, a finalist on BET’s “Sunday Best” gospel competition show.
  • D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will serve as guest preacher for an 11:15 a.m. service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at National Cathedral.  If you can’t make it in person, the service will webcast live.
  •  All National Parks that usually charge a fee will be fee-free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many will hold special events.
  • FBI Director James Comey will be the guest speaker at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, which begins at 9 a.m.
  • Rockville’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will include interactive and multicultural performances, an awards ceremony, and a keynote address by David Ragland on the theme of “The Challenge:  Building Community in the Age of Ferguson and Baltimore.”
  • Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant is chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Stop The Violence March & Forum, organized in an effort stop violence in Prince George’s County. The march begins at FedEx Field.
  • The annual Martin Luther King March and Celebration in Leesburg includes a discussion, march, film screening and performances.
  • The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority presents its annualYouth Oratorical Contest, featuring the MLK Community Choir.
  • The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with free admission, birthday cake, music, workshops and performances.
  • The annual MLK Peace Walk & Parade takes place in D.C., with the walk beginning at 11 a.m. and the parade starting at noon.
  • Annapolis’ annual Dream to Reality Parade begins at noon from Amos Garrett Boulevard. The Hillman Parking Garage will be open free of charge from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., when regular pricing will resume.
  • The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Baltimore steps off at noon. The Grand Marshals are actress Sonja Sohn of “The Wire” and Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett.
  • The “Let Freedom Ring” concert featuring Grammy nominee Yolanda Adams is presented by the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University.  Tickets for the 6 p.m. event will be distributed two per person in line, starting at 4:30 p.m.

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