Here's all the ways to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Orlando this week



Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Jan. 18 this year, but in Orlando and surrounding cities, several events are scheduled throughout this week and next week honoring the civil rights leader. There's something for everybody, but the major event is the City of Orlando's 32nd annual MLK parade on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 10 a.m. downtown. 

Here's a list of all the events, and for more information, visit

Thursday, Jan. 14: 

- 11th annual MLK Leadership Forum at Florida A&M University College of Law at 201 Beggs Ave. This free event starts at 7 p.m. and will discuss King's legacy. For more information, email [email protected] or call 321-292-9695. 

Friday, Jan. 15:

- 30th annual MLK Commemorative Luncheon at Ballroom at Church Street at 225 S. Garland Ave. You have to pay to attend the luncheon, which starts at 11:30 a.m. and includes radio host Joe Madison as a keynote speaker. For more information, email [email protected] or call 321-292-9695. 

- "City of Hope" concert at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church on 535 W. Washington St. This free event at 7 p.m. features music, visual imagery and poetry from local artists. For more information, email [email protected] or call 407-841-6773. 

Saturday, Jan. 16:

- Orlando's 32nd annual MLK parade on Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. The community parade starts at 10 a.m. and is free to attend. For more information, email [email protected] or call 407-223-9075

- Kissimmee's MLK parade and festival in downtown Kissimmee also starts at 10 a.m. The festival will be at Lakefront Park and include live performances from Stefon4u and the University of Central Florida Choir. For more information, visit or call 407-518-2501. 

- Eatonville's 39th annual MLK parade and festivities include a bike show at 11 a.m. and a parade at 2 p.m. There will also be a youth expo at Hungerford Field after the parade. For more information, email [email protected] or call 407-623-8913. 

Sunday, Jan. 17: 

- MLK Service: Spread the Dream at The Hope Church on 3032 Monte Carlo Trail. This event, presented by the African American Council of Christian Clergy, is free and starts at 6 p.m. Call 407-299-8820 for more information. 

Monday, Jan. 18: 

- Arthur "Pappy" Kennedy Prayer Breakfast at the First Baptist Church of Orlando on 3000 S. John Young Parkway. There is a cost for the breakfast, which starts at 7:45 a.m. and includes a guest speaker, Dr. Vikki Kennedy Johnson. Email [email protected] or call 407-896-9220 for more information. 

- Great Day of Service district events start at 8:30 a.m. Each of Orlando's six districts is holding service projects that you can participate in. To find out more about what's going on in your district, visit

- Ocoee's 10th Annual MLK parade begins at 10 a.m. The parade starts at Citrus Elementary School and ends at the West Oaks Mall. The event includes singing, health screenings and a speech by Central Florida civil rights leader the Rev. Canon Nelson Pinder. Visit or call 407-905-3100 for more information. 

- MLK vigil at the Bush Auditorium at Rollins College in Winter Park. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the event will feature poet and educator Clint Smith. For more information, email [email protected] 

Tuesday, Jan. 19:

- Black Art Exhibit Tour at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. This event starts at 12:30 p.m. and features the work of Elizabeth Catlett, Hank Willis Thomas and Melvin Edwards. For more information, email [email protected] 

Thursday, Jan. 21: 

- "King Against Capitalism" forum at Lucy Cross Center of Rollins College. Participants will discuss MLK's views on economic equality and its relevance today with sociology professor Matt Nichter. Bring lunch and your ideas. For more information, email [email protected] 

- "The Dream: A Gospel Concert Celebration" at the First United Methodist Church of Orlando on 142 E. Jackson St. This free gospel concert is presented by Mayor Buddy Dyer's Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Email [email protected] or call 321-226-8655 for information. 

Saturday, Jan. 23: 

- MLK Day of Service by Rollins College. This community service project starts at 9 a.m. If you need to know more, email [email protected] 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.