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How to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022 in the Austin area

Here are just a few events happening around the area celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming up on Monday, Jan. 17, with events being planned around the area to commemorate the civil rights activist and his work.

Although the traditional march has been canceled for a second year in a row, there are still events around Austin and in surrounding cities. Here are a few you can check out this year.

Austin MLK Jr. Community Festival and Food Drive – Canceled in-person, virtual only rally

Due to concerns around the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Austin-area, the 2022 MLK Festival has been canceled. Instead, organizers will hold a virtual MLK Rally program on Jan. 17. 

MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

The heritage council is also hosting its annual oratory competition featuring fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students sharing five-minute personal speeches. 

The prompt for the speeches this year asks students what changes to society they would recommend to make Dr. King's "dream" a reality. 

Tune in via Facebook and YouTube on Jan. 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. to hear what students have to say. 

MLK Youth Legacy Awards

Scholarships are awarded to eight high school students in the Austin community for significant accomplishments in the following categories: Academic Excellence/Education, Arts, Community Service, Fred "Mitchie" Mitchell Beating the Odds, Mathematics and Science, the Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas Health Sciences Award, the Daughters of Charity Humanitarian and Spirit Award and the Dell Children's Medical Center Youth Leadership Award.

Tune in via Facebook Live or Zoom on Saturday, Jan.15, starting at 3 p.m.

Taylor MLK. Jr. Day Celebration

The City of Taylor will hold its 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Jan. 17 and will feature a march and celebration program. 

The march begins at 9 a.m. at the Dickey-Givens Community Center with lineup at 8:45 a.m. After the march, the celebration program begins at 10 a.m. at Heritage Square Amphitheater. 

In the event of bad weather, the event will be moved to Taylor City Hall. 

Hays County MLK Jr. Celebrations

The Dunbar Heritage Association is hosting a three-day celebration leading up to MLK Jr. Day. 

The first event is on Jan. 15 with a children-oriented event at the San Marcos Public Library. Kids will learn about Dr. King's legacy with activities, crafts and more. Kids will also help create a wreath that will be used for a wreath-laying ceremony on Jan. 17. The event for kids starts at 10:30 a.m. 

On Jan. 16, DHA is partnering with the Office of the Hays County Judge to host a celebration on the Hays County Courthouse lawn from 4-7 p.m. The Hays County CommonUnity MLK Jr. Festival will feature vendors and entertainment honoring King.  

Then, on Jan. 17, DHA will hold a celebration in San Marcos starting with a wreath-laying ceremony at the LBJ/MLK Crossroads Memorial at 9:30 a.m. A community march will follow the ceremony, ending at the Paul Laurence Dunbar Recreation Center in town. There, the celebration continues with music, displays, speakers and more. 

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