Phoenix Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King's Legacy 2017

Festivals and Events Celebrating Diversity

Unity March
••• Regional Unity Walk at Tempe Beach Park. Courtesy of City of Chandler Diversity Office

Each year on the third Monday of January citizens of our country take time to recognize and celebrate the birth, the life and the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some of the events being held in the Greater Phoenix area where you can take time out to acknowledge the value of diversity, the progress we've made toward freedom and equality for all people, and continued efforts to strengthen our communities.


  • Chandler Multicultural Festival
    Chandler Fashion Center
    Celebrates the cultural diversity of the community through music, dance, art, sports, and arts/crafts. There will be two: stages: one inside on the 2nd floor by the GAP and the other outside by the valet area in front of Old Spaghetti Company. Free admission.
    In 2017: Saturday, January 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast
    Mesa Convention Center

    Calvin Terrell, is a speaker, educator, and community builder will present the keynote address. From adults in corporate settings to school in-services or children and youth at a camp to community centers, Calvin can captivate, enlighten, and inspire any audience. Tickets $50 each.
    In 2017: Monday, January 16 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

  • MLK Parade
    Downtown Mesa
    A community celebration including marching bands, business supporters, community members & leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Center Street in Mesa. Free.
    In 2017: Monday, January 16 at 11 a.m.
  • Community Festival
    Mesa Arts Center
    The Mesa MLK Festival begins immediately after the parade. Community celebration including music, dance, poetry and more. Free admission.
    In 2017: Monday, January 16 from noon to 4 p.m.


  • Black Violin
    Centennial Plaza, 9875 N. 85th Ave.

    Black Violin, made up of string musicians Wil Baptiste and Kevin "Kev Marcus" Sylvester, is the blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. Black Violin uses music to break down the barriers and stereotypes that frequently form due to differences in race, economic status, religion, and more. The group will also be performing a musical number with Peoria Unified School District’s Sunrise Mountain High School students during the concert. Free admission, free parking. Lawn seating, bring chairs and/or blankets. No pets.
    In 2017: Wednesday, January 18 at 6 p.m


    • MLK Awards Breakfast
      Phoenix Convention Center
      The event recognizes citizens with the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "Living the Dream" Award who have made Phoenix a better place to live through a lifelong commitment to creating a compassionate and socially just society. Proceeds will benefit Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) and scholarships to deserving students in the Phoenix community. Ticketed event.
      In 2017: Friday, January 13 at 7 a.m.
    • Dr. Martin Luther King MLK March and Festival
      Assemble at 8:30 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 East Jefferson Street for the 9 a.m. march. Festival at 10 a.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park. Free.
      In 2017: Monday, January 16 at 9 a.m.
    • MLK Youth Celebration
      Workshops and performances at Phoenix College.
      In 2017: Friday, January 27


    • Scottsdale MLK Dinner
      Henkel Corporation, 7201 E. Henkel Way, Scottsdale

      Bill Norwood headlines the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration. William “Bill” Norwood, is the first African-American commercial airline pilot, a two-time aviation hall of fame inductee and author of “Cleared For Takeoff: A Pilot’s Story of Challenges and Triumphs.” Call 480-312-1926 for tickets.
      In 2017: Wednesday, January 11 at 6 p.m.

    • Peace and Community Day
      Scottsdale Civic Center Park
      A special musical performance at Sunday A'Fair.
      In 2017: Sunday, January 15 from noon to 4 p.m.


    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service
      Surprise City Hall Courtyard, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza
      A program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. featuring a keynote address by Colonel Richard Toliver, retired USAF, author and renowned speaker with ties to the King family. Emceeing the program will be Steve Irvin, Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC15 News. Free breakfast at 8:30 a.m. limited to the first 500 attendees. Following the program, at 9:45 a.m., volunteers will be sent out into the community to complete service projects that include food sorting, painting, landscaping, trash collection and more. Projects will last approximately 1-4 hours. Individuals and families do not have to register in advance, assignments will be given at the event. Groups must RSVP for project assignments.
      In 2017: Saturday, January 14


      • MLK Diversity Awards Breakfast
        Marriott Tempe at the Buttes, Tempe
        Keynote Speaker will be Ahmad Daniels, founder of Creative Interchange, an organization whose mission is to enhance personal and community social capital through changed philosophies, personal empowerment and self-actualization. $10 per ticket, RSVP to 480-350-8979 required.
        In 2017: Monday, January 16
      • Regional Unity Walk
        Tempe Beach Park
        Walking for unity in our communities to promote mutual respect and understanding. Families, community organizations, scout groups, schools, and faith groups are encouraged to participate in the one-mile walk. Walkers are encouraged to carry signs and banners representing their groups. Diversity reception featuring local dignitaries, refreshments (while supplies last) and entertainment follows walk. Sponsored by Tempe, Guadalupe, Mesa, Chandler, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Gilbert. Be at an assembly location 15 minutes before start of walk. Check online for assembly locations. No registration required. Free.
        In 2017: Saturday, January 28 at 6 p.m.

      Arizona National Parks

      And More

      • Weekend of Service Projects
        Various Phoenix area locations
        To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. HandsOn Greater Phoenix lists various community service projects for MLK Day. Each project has details, including minimum age for participation.
        In 2017: Saturday, January 14 through Monday, January 16

      All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.