MLK Jr. Day is often regarded as a day off, but it doesn’t have to be just that. For those who want to remember the life and impact of Martin Luther King, Jr., there are plenty of ways to do that. You can stay in and teach your kids about the holiday, try to make an impact on your local government, get involved, reflect, or just have fun and celebrate.
29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace & Unity Parade And Celebration
Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
1950 Lemon Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90806
Date: January 14, 2017
Celebrating one of the most historical figures of the civil rights movement, the Peace & Unity Parade will kick off at 10:30 am at MLK and Atlantic Avenues. With this year’s theme being “Love & Forgiveness,” the honorary celebration will continue to 6pm where more than 25,000 people will gather together for an afternoon of live music and entertainment showcasing visions of peace and brotherhood. There will also be carnival rides and kids activities such as arts and crafts reflecting the spirit of justice. This celebration is a great way to learn more about the local groups and organizations that honor the values of MLK to this day.
345 E. Main St.
Tustin, CA 92780
Though libraries take the day off for MLK Jr. Day, that doesn’t mean you can’t check out books about Dr. King prior to the holiday. Using a library is a good way to find books that can be used to teach the children in your life about the meaning of the holiday. Over at Tustin Library (as well as others), there is a book entitled “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” by Jill Foran. It is 24 pages long and has illustrations for young readers to look at while you help them read about the holiday. Spending the day reading a kid-friendly book about MLK Jr. is a good way for a family to celebrate together.
1901 E. 4th St., Suite 100
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Date: January 16, 2017
OneOC is a community service project dedicated to volunteerism in Orange County. In regard to MLK Jr. Day, the group encourages local residents to “make their ‘day off’ a ‘day on’ with a Day of Service.” The group has a volunteer list that people can sign up for so they can be notified of volunteer opportunities. They also have “project toolkits” available to help people who want to host their own community service projects (letter writing, diversity discussions, etc.).
13042 Old Myford Road
Irvine, CA 92602-2304
Marching and praying are the meditative practices MLK Jr. emphasized while he was fighting for civil rights. Whether it was a march on Washington or his march from Selma to Montgomery, marching was a spiritual act with deep meaning. The famous clergyman would take the time to pray with his followers and share his hopes and dreams with them. Walking the interconnected trails of Orange County is a good opportunity for prayer and reflection.