Where to Celebrate Life, Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy in Houston

Houston will host a host of events commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading up to a national holiday commemorating his birthday on January 15th. Here are seven events where you can honor the iconic civil rights leader in the city of Bayou.

MLK Jr. Bike ride on the Dreamcatcher

Cyclists can celebrate Dr. King’s birthday with a 20-mile tour of all the places he visited on his last trip to Houston. The 13 mph ride will run from 8:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturday, January 14th. Be sure to be there on time as early arrivals are recommended. The bike ride will start at Antioch MBC Downtown at 500 Clay St. The event is free, but donations are welcome.

27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr.

Each year, the Children’s Museum of Houston honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with messages of unity, justice, and peace during their celebration. This year’s event, which runs from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on January 15, will also be dedicated to Caryakid Award winner Rev. Dr. Polly Sparks Turner. Musical performances by Jamie Perry and Dr. Kiana Williams begin at noon. There will also be a peace march, a re-enactment of Steve Scott’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a performance by Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church dancers, and an African heritage food display from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Entrance costs $5.

MLK gospel festival and concert

January 15 at 4:00 pm Green House International Church at 200 W. Greens Rd. will host MLK Gospel Fest & Concert. Organized by the Black Heritage Society, the concert line-up includes Endurance, Pastor Robert Morris, Pentecostal Cathy, Marcus Jordan and Divine Favor, as well as gospel singer James Fortune and Christian R&B artist Zacardi Cortez. Already at 13:30 there will be trucks with food. Admission is $10 for children under 16 and $20 for adults.

Rothko Chapel 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Installation

This year, the Rothko Chapel, in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gordon Parks Foundation, explores the role of the media in civil rights movements past and present. Panellists, including local photographers and journalists, will share their work and insights into how the media is shaping narratives around social justice movements and leaders. The free event will take place from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm on January 15 at the Rothko Chapel, located at 3900 Yupon St.

45th Annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade

The City of Houston partners with the Black Heritage Society for the fourth time to host the 45th annual Original MLK Jr. Parade. Day Parade from 10:00 to 17:00 on January 16. This year’s theme is “Mountain Climbing for a Better Future”. During a press conference earlier this month, Mayor Sylvester Turner, who will serve as Grand Marshal, revealed that the parade will feature 12 dynamic bands, 14 decorated floats and a range of well-known local celebrities and community figures. The co-marshals are the Rev. Dr. Derek King, Dr. King’s nephew, and Dr. Camille Cash, a Houston-based plastic surgeon, as well as a co-marshal memorial tribute to the late activist John Bland. The parade will be broadcast on KHOU 11 and the route will start at Smith and Lamar Street in the city center.

MLK Festival

As the Original MLK Day Parade draws to a close, the Black Heritage Society’s Houston MLK Festival kicks off at 5:00 pm at City Hall’s Hermann Park Square. The free follow-up celebration will include live music, family activities, shopping stalls and food trucks.

29th Annual MLK Grande Parade

Another Houston parade taking place on January 16 is the 29th annual MLK Grande Parade, which kicks off at San Jacinto and Elgin Street in Midtown from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The theme for this year’s parade is “Drummers for a Dream”. Honorees at the event, which will feature 36 orchestras, include Houston rapper and philanthropist Tre Ta Trut and mayoral candidate and former city councilor Amanda Edwards. The parade will be broadcast live on The CW 39 Houston.

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