Martin Luther King Day Events 2018 in Washington, D.C.

Honor the Civil Rights Leader in Washington

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marked In U.S.
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Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday is a day of honor and commemorative events at a variety of sites in Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday is January 15th and is celebrated each year on the third Monday in January. In 1994, to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others, Congress transformed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday into a national day of community service. Here is a schedule of special events to honor this civil rights leader and to give local residents the opportunity to reach out to help those in need.

Martin Luther King Memorial - This weekend is a great time to visit the Memorial. National Park Service Rangers discuss King's role in the Civil Rights movement daily. The National Park Service will host a wreathlaying service on January 15, 2018, 8-9 a.m. in observance of the birthday-anniversary for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - January 15, 2018. Major service events will take place across the country. Join a community service organization or create your own event to serve the DC community and make a difference.

 Volunteers will participate in over 1300 projects that spread throughout Washington, D.C.’s 8 wards.

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade - January 15, 2018, 11 a.m. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE and Milwaukee Place SE, Washington, D.C. The Anacostia parade/peacewalk includes the Ballou Marching Band and representatives from the area's Asian, Bolivian, Jamaican and African American communities. The parade was established in 1968 by DC City council members in efforts to acknowledge the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was not until 1986 that the parade became an annual event. 

Washington National Cathedral - January 15, 2018, 2 p.m. 3101 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. The Cathedral will host a celebration to honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and continue his vision through music and poetry presented by the Cathedral and DC’s performing arts community. Following the service, the Cathedral will host a commemorative pilgrimage, Rosa and Martin, Martin and Rosa, to explore the relationship between Dr. King and fellow civil rights icon Rosa Parks.


"Let Freedom Ring"
January 15, 2018, 6 p.m. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration featuring Gladys Knight, the Let Freedom Ring Choir and other special guests honoring Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy in a free Millennium Stage concert. Admission is free however, tickets are required and will be distributed the day of the event in front of the Concert Hall beginning at 4:30 p.m. Attenddes should enter through the Hall of Nations.

Overflow seating will be available at Millennium Stage North (near Eisenhower Theater) for patrons to view a simulcast of the performance.  

Lincoln Memorial
Early January (Date to Be Announced), 12:00 p.m. 23rd and Independence Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. The National Park Service will place a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial, on the steps where Dr. King gave his 1963 speech. The recitation of the “I Have a Dream” speech will be presented by students of Washington, D.C.’s Watkins Elementary School.