Keeping the ‘Dream’ alive: Louisville hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, events

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Across the nation and in the city of Louisville, there will be events that will honor and celebrate the legacy of Civil Rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on what would have been his 91st birthday.

King’s official birthday is January 15; however, the 2020 American Federal holiday will be celebrated on Jan 20. 

RELATED: 11 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes that will inspire your soul

Officials and community members will be part of the motorcade in the Louisville Parade on Monday, January 20.

The Martin Luther King Jr. parade will start at the corner of 28th and Broadway near the McDonald’s/Kroger parking lot. It’s scheduled to end at Hughlett Temple AME Zion Church around noon where Governor Andy Beshear will speak. Hughlett Temple is located at 2115 W. Jefferson Street.

The first MLK motorcade was held back in 1972 and was founded by native George Burney. Burney was a lifelong advocate for promoting King’s principles and Civil Rights. He was also the founder of the community activist group called PRIDE (People’s Rights in Demanding Equality.)

Martin Luther King Jr. visited Louisville often in the 1960s because his younger brother A.D. King was the pastor of Zion Baptist Church.

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Other events happening around Louisville in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.:

Asking King’s Question on Environmental Justice in West Louisville
“Where do we go from here: Community or Chaos?”
St. William Church, 1226 W. Oak Street, 40210 – 3 p.m.

A group of individuals and organizations from both sides of the 9th Street divide will be exploring the history of environmental justice in Louisville. Join this group of concerned citizens at St. William Church (1226 W. Oak Street) to learn what we can do to help neighborhoods being affected by poor environmental quality as we transition toward ‘just’ sustainability for all. Hosted by Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light.

Day of Service
Chickasaw Park – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Olmsted Parks Conservancy will host a volunteer event in Chickasaw Park in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Projects may include mulching, removing invasive plants and general park beautification. Gloves, tools, and refreshments provided. Dress for the weather and working outdoors. For more information and to register, please contact Sarah Wolff at (502) 456-8125 or visit

There is a week of MLK events – panel discussion, film. day of service – at the University of Louisville, starting January 11. See information about these HERE.

Events in honor of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and intended to educate the UofL campus and community on the importance of actualizing Dr. King’s ideals of social justice, non-violence, education, and service. Events will include:

MLK Day of Service (meetup in SAC Multipurpose Room) TENTATIVE: 9 a.m-1 p.m. 

MLK Day of Service has been an American tradition since 1994. Sponsored by UofL’s Engage Lead Serve Board, participants will enjoy free food and a free t-shirt. No registration required. Volunteers should meet in the SAC Multipurpose Room at 9 a.m. to sign up for a service site. The UofL Sustainability Council is hosting on-campus service sites at our Garden Commons and at our volunteer-powered community composting project. The kickoff will feature a speaker, followed by transportation to service sites. Participants will be back on campus by 1:00 p.m. We encourage you to join us and become part of the UofL community in making MLK Day a “day on, not a day off.” Contact with any questions!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration (The Playhouse) TENTATIVE: 1:00 p.m. 

Please join the UofL African American Theatre Program for our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration. This event is free and open to the public!

More on WHAS11:

Louisville’s Postal Service to host Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Years of persistence led to holiday

Rev. Charles Elliott Jr. presented with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award

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