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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events for Seattle-Area Families in 2023

Honor Dr. King at community events around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Headshot of author Julie Dodobara, she is pictured from the torso up, standing on a boat with a waterfuall in the distance

Published on: January 06, 2023

Credit: Skeeze/Pixabay

Civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, six decades ago. We still have much work to do — and it’s more urgent than ever — for our country to honor, value and protect Black lives.

Learn more about Dr. King’s legacy of social justice work, non-violence and service — with your kids — by participating in Seattle-area ceremonies and events. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted; some require advance registration.

Top MLK Day events through Monday, Jan. 16, 2023:

Thursday, Jan. 12, noon–1 p.m.:
King County is hosting a virtual MLK Jr. community celebration, honoring its namesake with a discussion around the theme and accompanying quote, “Truth, Light and Hope,” and “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, Jan. 13, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.:
Seattle Colleges welcomes the community for their 50th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King, which features the voices of DaNell Daymon and Greater Works and keynote speaker Rev. Sharon Risher, national spokesperson for the grassroots advocacy groups Everytown and Moms Demand Gun Sense. This year SCCtv will live stream the program from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 13, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.:
The Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee (SBCHC) encourages all to gather at Everett Memorial Stadium for an MLK march and rally ending at the Carl Gibson Center, where a community celebration featuring guest speakers, food and other presentations will take place.

Friday–Sunday, Jan. 13–15, times vary:
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art hosts a weekend-long community celebration of MLK Day which features speakers, art, music, demonstrations and more by local organizers, educators, artists, activists and social justice organizations.

Saturday, Jan. 14, 1–2 p.m. and 2–3 p.m.:
Bring the older kids to MOHAI to experience history through live theatrical performances and archival film in this presentation by Living Voices about the struggle for civil rights in America. Included with admission.

Sunday, Jan. 15, 2–4 p.m.:
Seattle’s MLK Coalition hosts its young leaders event virtually again this year bringing light to topics such as gun violence, youth mental health, education and more. Tune in to hear from local teens about their ideas and activism. 

Sunday, Jan. 15, 3:30–5:30 p.m.:
The community is invited to attend a Sunday Celebration honoring the life, legacy and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the First Presbyterian Church of Everett. Speakers will present around this year’s theme, “The Urgency of Now: From Dream to Reality.”

Monday, Jan. 16, times vary:
In the spirit of MLK’s service to the community, sign up for a volunteer opportunity and give back to the community by using Monday as a day on instead of off. Children are welcome; check for more details and preregister in advance at the website.

Monday, Jan. 16, dawn to dusk:
Both national parks and Washington State Parks offer free entrance Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Monday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.:
Kids can take part in art activities and story times that celebrate Dr. King and his legacy to promote equality and advance civil rights at Imagine Children's Museum in Everett. Included with admission.

Monday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.:
Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia is celebrating the spirit of kindness and community of Martin Luther King, Jr. through special art activities and collaborative projects. Write letters of kindness to neighbors, silkscreen a peace print, learn about Black History STEAM heroes and more. Included with admission.

Monday, Jan. 16, 9:30 –11:30 a.m.:
There is a free children's tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Edmonds Waterfront Center featuring local performers and fun activities especially for families.

Monday, Jan. 16, 10–11:30 a.m.:
Join the City of Bellevue for a virtual celebration and health fair honoring Dr. King. Hear from notable speakers, explore holistic health resources, enjoy live entertainment and be a part of a youth-led discussion on health and racial equality. Pre-register for this free event at the website above to receive the event link.

Monday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m.–5 p.m; performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.:
Enjoy free admission to the Washington State History Museum and experience their Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration with live performances throughout the day that celebrate his story and legacy.

Monday, Jan. 16, 11 a.m.–noon:
Gather at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center or convene online to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday at a program highlighting MLK’s impact on the present and future of our communities under the theme “And We Rise.”

Monday, Jan. 16, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.:
Lend your voice to the Seattle MLK Coalition’s annual rally and march for justice and equality. The rally takes place at the Garfield High School gym starting at 11 a.m.; the march begins at 12:30 p.m. Note that masks and social distancing are required. Check out online and in-person workshops as well, taking place Jan. 10–16.

Monday, Jan. 16, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.:
Stop by the Northwest African American Museum to celebrate both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the grand reopening of the museum. The event will include movies, music, speakers and activities for the whole family. Included with admission.

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6:30–8:30 p.m.:
All are invited to the University of Puget Sound’s annual MLK Celebration where Emmy-nominated poet and advocate for equity Christian Paige will perform.

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