Oklahoma City’s 34th Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebration will take place Monday, January 19, 2015. This year’s theme is “Honor, Celebrate and Work.” The Oklahoma City Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Coalition believes this theme captures the essence of what Dr. King was about and invites the public to celebrate his life and honor his achievements toward equality at events throughout the day.
“January 19th will be a day of celebration where everyone can be on one accord,” says Roosevelt Milton, MLK Coalition Vice Chair. “We are all still in the struggle to achieve Dr. King’s dream of ‘one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
The signature event of the celebration each year is the parade. It’s the third largest MLK parade in the nation. Around 30,000 people will line the streets to join in the remembrance and celebration. The parade will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Broadway and NW 7th, which is near St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, located at Robinson and N.W. 7th.
The festivities kick off earlier in the day at the Freedom Center at 2500 N. MLK Ave. The Oklahoma City Branch of the NAACP will host the Opening Holiday Program followed immediately by a Silent March.
The Silent March represents the true spirit of the modern Civil Rights Movement. It will begin at 9:45 a.m. at the Freedom Center and will end at the Oklahoma History Center. Following the silent march, at 11:00 a.m., the National Bell Ringing Salute to Dr. King will take place at the Oklahoma History Center.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral will begin at Noon and will wrap up just before the parade kicks off at 2:00 p.m.
MLK was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971. Oklahoma Governor George Nigh signed the holiday into law one year before it was declared a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.
This year’s sponsors include Tinker Federal Credit Union, Heart & Soul, Oklahoma County Commissioners and Oklahoma City. To learn more about the 2015 MLK Holiday events, please visit http://okcmlk.org/