AUSTIN, Texas — Jan. 16 is a federal holiday that marks the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the effects he has had on our current society. MLK Jr. Day is also the only national holiday that is specifically marked as a "National Day of Service."
Here are some of the events that are occurring in the Austin area to honor MLK Jr. Day.
Starting at 9 a.m. at the Austin Center for Events, the annual Austin Martin Luther King Community March will take place. The march will begin with a short program of speeches from Dr. Cherise Smith and Dr. Ted Gordon in front of the MLK statue on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
After the speeches, the march will start and lead to the south steps of the Texas State Capitol, where a rally – including music from the Huston-Tillotson choir and a speech from Austin Mayor Kirk Watson – will occur.
Following the program, attendees will march to Huston-Tillotson University.
The march is free to all that wish to attend. Here is a map of the route.
Also in Austin, a fireworks show will take place at the capitol building at 8:30 p.m. in honor of MLK.
The 2023 Texas Inaugural Committee will host the 20-minute celebration ahead of Tuesday's inauguration ceremonies.
The show will be visible on the south lawn and down South Congress Avenue.
Starting at 11 a.m., the City of Leander and the Leander Public Art Commission will hold a celebration and march to celebrate MLK Jr.
The march will begin at Camacho Elementary and attendees will make their way to Old Town Park, where the celebration will be held. The celebration will include performances from dancers, musicians, choirs and spoken word artists.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., certain roads will be closed to allow for the parade:
- West Willis Street between Bagdad and Brushy streets
- West South Street between West and U.S. 183 highway
- Brushy Street between Broade and Atkins streets
- Portions of Broade, West South, West Willis and Bagdad streets; North West and Municipal drives; and Broade Way
United Way's "MLK Day of Service"
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is joining with the United Way for Greater Austin's "MLK Day of Service," an outdoor clean-up of a park of the organization's choice. This year, the park clean-up will take place at Gustavo "Gus" L. Garcia District Park, located at 1201 E Rundberg Lane, from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
After the clean-up and beautification process, Cornyn and Austin Mayor Kirk Watson will hold a press conference highlighting Dr. King's legacy.