Guide to Martin Luther King Day in St. Louis: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

St. Louisans join Americans around the country in annual tributes to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Events begin in early January and culminate on MLK Day in mid-January. Learn more about the various observances, celebrations, marches and other events to honor Dr. King. MLK Day in 2019 will be held on Monday, January 21. There are also many other events in St. Louis in January, some of which are free winter activities.

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MLK Freedom Celebration

St. Louis Art Museum
Photo by Deborah O'Brien

The St. Louis Art Museum is hosting a remembrance of the struggle for civil rights. The event will include music, photographs and keynote speakers. It runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on January 21, 2019 in Forest Park. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Advance tickets are available at the museum's Information Center.

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MLK Family Celebration

The Missouri History Museum invites visitors of all ages to a Family Celebration to honor Dr. King. Storytellers from the St. Louis Black Authors of Children's Literature will recall the important moments from King's life. Children will also create peace-inspired art, join movement workshops with Mama Lisa, and learn about life in the South in the 1960s.

The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 21, 2019. The free celebration is aimed for kids ages 14 and under. The first 100 children in attendance each day will receive a free storybook.

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University City Celebration

The University City School District is holding its 33rd annual celebration on the Saturday before MLK Day. A community march begins at noon at the high school, followed by followed by readings, performances and entertainment.

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UMSL King Day Observance

The MLK Celebration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is held annually at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The community celebration features speakers, musicians and performers paying tribute to Dr. King. There is also a special program for children. The event is free and open to the public.

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Downtown St. Louis Celebration & March

The public is invited to the Old Courthouse in Downtown St. Louis at 10 a.m., for a special ceremony with speeches from local leaders. At 11 a.m., participants will march from the Old Courthouse to Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. The annual celebration will conclude with an interfaith service and concert at the church.

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Let Freedom Ring

Christ Church Cathedral at 13th and Locust holds a daylong observance of the life and legacy of Dr. King. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., speakers are invited to read aloud the writings and speeches of Dr. King as visitors listen and reflect on the message. Admission is free.

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Washington University Commemoration

The 30th annual King Day Commemoration at Washington University takes place at Graham Chapel. The event begins at 7 p.m. It includes speeches, discussions and gospel music. Admission is free.