Houston will play host to a slew of events celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on and leading up to the national holiday marking his Jan. 15 birthday. Here are seven events where you can honor the iconic civil rights leader in the Bayou City.
Cyclists can celebrate Dr. King’s birthday by taking a 20-mile tour of all the places he visited during his last trip to Houston. The 13 mph-paced ride will go from 8 a.m. sharp to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. Be sure to be there on time since early arrival is suggested. The bike ride will begin at Antioch MBC Downtown at 500 Clay St. The event is free but donations are welcome.
The Houston Children’s Museum will host its 27th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration on Jan. 15.
Houston Chronicle Staff
27th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration
Each year, the Houston Children’s Museum honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with messages of unity, justice, and peace during its celebration. This year, the event taking place between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 will also recognize Caryakid Award winner, Rev. Dr. Polly Sparks Turner. Starting at the noon are musical performances by Jamie Perry and Dr. Kiana Williams. There will also be a peace march, an “I Have a Dream” speech reenactment by Steve Scott, a performance by the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Praise Dancers, as well as an African Heritage Food Demo between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Entry is $5.
MLK Gospel Fest & Concert
On Jan. 15 at 4 p.m., the Green House International Church at 200 W. Greens Rd. will host the MLK Gospel Fest & Concert. Organized by the Black Heritage Society, the concert lineup features Endurance, Pastor Robert Morris, Pentecostal of Katy, Marcus Jordan & Divine Favor, as well as gospel recording artist James Fortune and Christian R&B artist Zacardi Cortez. There will also be food trucks on site as early as 1:30 p.m. Entry is $10 for children 16 and under and $20 for adults.
Christian R&B singer Zacardi Cortez will be among performers at the MLK Gospel Fest & Concert in Houston on Jan. 15.
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Rothko Chapel 2023 Martin Luther King Installation
This year, the Rothko Chapel, in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts and The Gordon Parks Foundation, will explore the role of the media in civil rights movements past and present. Panelists, including local photographers and journalists, will share their work and perspectives on how the media shape narratives around social justice movements and leaders. The free event goes from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 at Rothko Chapel, located at 3900 Yupon St.
Houston’s 45th Annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16.
Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle
45th Annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade
The City of Houston is partnering with the Black Heritage Society for a fourth time for its 45th Annual Original MLK Jr. Day Parade from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16. This year’s theme is “Climbing the Mountain to a Better Future.” During a press conference earlier this month, Mayor Sylvester Turner—who will serve as grand marshal—revealed the parade will feature 12 dynamic marching bands, 14 decorated floats, and a lineup of well known local celebrities and community leaders. Co-grand marshals are Rev. Dr. Derek King, nephew of Dr. King, and Dr. Camille Cash, a Houston plastic surgeon, as well as a co-grand marshal memorial tribute to the late activist John Bland. The parade will be televised on KHOU 11, with the route kicking off at Smith and Lamar St. in downtown.
Just as the Original MLK Day Parade comes to a close, the Houston MLK Festival hosted by the Black Heritage Society will commence at 5 p.m. at Hermann Park Square at City Hall. The free, follow-up celebration will feature live music, family-friendly activities, vendor booths and food trucks.
Houston’s 29th Annual MLK Grande Parade will be held on Jan. 16.
Houston Chronicle Staff
29th Annual MLK Grande Parade
Another Houston parade taking place on Jan. 16 is the 29th annual MLK Grande Parade, which kicks off at San Jacinto and Elgin St. in Midtown between 10 a.m. and noon. This year’s parade theme is “Drum Majors for the Dream.” Honorees at the event, which will feature 36 marching bands, include Houston rapper and philanthropist Trae tha Truth and mayoral candidate and former city council member Amanda Edwards. The parade will be streamed live on CW 39 Houston.