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Eight Ways To Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day In Atlanta

People carry signs as they march following the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Atlanta.
People carry signs as they march following the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Atlanta.
Credit Branden Camp / Associated Press
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In Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown, celebrations of the civil rights leader’s life and impact will be held around Atlanta leading up to and during his holiday.

MLK Day, the only federal holiday marked as a national day of service, falls on Jan. 20, five days after King’s birthday. It will be a day of volunteering and learning, ranging from an art festival to a commemorative march.

King 2020: Remembering His Life & Legacy

When: Jan. 18 to 31

Where: Morehouse College

What: For more than a week, King’s alma mater Morehouse College is observing his day of service throughout the city. The festivities will begin with an opening exhibition called “The Beloved Community,” which contains relics from the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. Panels, lectures and conversations are also planned, along with free screenings of two documentaries. 

Family Programs At The Atlanta History Center

When: Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta

What: Visitors receive free admission all day while the center offers a schedule of events showcasing African American experiences, including a simulated Freedom Ride and an interview with Rosalyn Walton, of the “Atlanta Nine” who integrated schools in 1961.

MLK Day 5K Drum Run

When: Jan. 20, line up begins at 8:45 a.m.

Where: Piedmont Park, 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta

What: This one-of-a-kind 5K commemorates Martin Luther King Day with a 3.1-mile drumline along the course. It costs $35 to register. 

MLK Volunteer Day: Day In The Dirt At Loridans Park

When: Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: Loridans Park, 680 Loridans Drive, Atlanta 

What: Locals can give back to the community by volunteering at Loridans Park with Liveable Buckhead. Volunteers, 12 and up with an adult, can chip in by fixing up the park through collecting trash and pruning plants.

MLK Day For Kids

When: Jan. 20, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Atlanta 

What: The little ones can learn more about the Civil Rights Movement, along with King’s life at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta during this MLK Day. There will be a reading of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, along with music and art.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Art and Film Festival

When: Jan. 20, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs

What: The city of Sandy Springs is unveiling its first festival of this kind to the public as a part of its 14th annual tribute to King. Hands-on craft projects, ranging from painting a mural to creating a peace sign, are slated for the afternoon. The “Our Friend Martin” educational film will also be screened twice during the free event in the Studio Theatre and at 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commemorative March/Rally

When: Jan. 20, 1:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Baker Street NW & Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta

What: The MLK March Committee and Africa African American Renaissance Festival is bringing this procession to the streets of downtown Atlanta. The commemorative march will start on the intersection of Peachtree Street and Baker Street and end in front of The King Center. 

See The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

When: Open daily, hours vary for the locations within the site

Where: 450 Auburn Ave., Atlanta

What: This site includes locations that were significant to King’s life, such as his birth home and the church where he co-pastored. The King Center, the “I Have a Dream” World Peace Rose Garden and a monument dedicated to the memory of him are also within the historic area.