Martin Luther King Jr. Day events continue through Tuesday

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The Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School band performs in the the 2019 MLK Day parade go down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  (Zach Brien,

The city has a full slate of Martin Luther King Jr. Day events planned, running through Tuesday, with the preeminent event taking place on Monday, the national holiday honoring the civil rights leader.

Events include concerts, a day of service, worship services, and Monday’s march and ceremony.

“Our theme this year is going to be ‘Remember, Celebrate, and Act,’ and using this holiday to remember Dr. King’s legacy and moving forward with ’20-20 vision’ throughout this year, where we started a new decade,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Cantrell and the event chairwoman, Judge Terri Love, will welcome guests to the MLK Commemorative Celebration at 9 a.m. Monday (Jan. 20), the official King holiday, at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

The celebration will be followed by the MLK Remembrance March, which begins outside the Jazz Market at approximately 10 a.m. and will end at A.L. Davis Park in Central City. The full route and the parking restrictions for the march are below.

Choral concert

Other events for the city’s celebration include a MLK Choral Concert tonight featuring community and high school choirs, plus an international choir from Norway in a guest appearance.

The concert will be held tonight, Friday (Jan. 17), at 6 p.m. in McDonogh 35 High School, 4000 Cadillac Drive in Gentilly.

Cultural Economic Workshop

On Saturday, artists, culture bearers and businesses in the New Orleans cultural arena are invited to the MLK Cultural Economic Workshop hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy. Participants will learn how to gain access to city contracting. Vendor registration and DBE certification information will be available on-site.

The workshop will be held Saturday (Jan. 18) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with lunch provided, at Gallier Hall, 545 St. Charles Ave. in the CBD.

Day of Service

Saturday is also the MLK Day of Service, when King’s spirit is celebrated by helping the community by taking part in a service project. As King said in 1957: “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is: What are you doing for others?”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Day of Service to celebrate the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Tulane University is hosting the 2020 Day of Service for students from Dillard University, Dillard University, Tulane, Loyola University and the University of New Orleans.

In the Hoffman Triangle neighborhood, volunteers will be taking part in a Community Cleanup Day. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at Taylor Playground, 2600 S. Roman St., and from there neighborhood leaders will guide volunteers along the streets to clean. To register as a Hoffman Triangle volunteer, visit

Commemorative Art Exhibition

Also on Saturday, the National Conference of Artists will present its 23rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art Exhibition, with opening receptions held on Friday.

Exhibits can be viewed Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at three galleries: the Building Gallery at 1427 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.; the Rosa Keller Library Gallery at 4300 Broad Street, with David Cotton exhibiting; and the Stella Jones Gallery at 201 St. Charles Ave.

Then you can head over to the Ashe Cultural Center Powerhouse at 1731 Baronne St. from 4 to 8 p.m. to view an exhibit and hear a talk by Leon Waters, author and chairman of the Louisiana Museum of African American History.

MLK Commemorative Celebration and Remembrance March

Members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra perform at the 2019 MLK Jr. Commemorative Celebration at the New Orleans Jazz Market.  (Zach Brien,

On Monday (Jan. 20), the national holiday, Central City is the place to be for the city’s annual celebration. The opening program begins at 9 a.m. in the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

From the Jazz Market, the march will commence, taking the following route:

• START: Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
• Proceed on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
• Left on South Claiborne Avenue
• Left on Washington Avenue
• END: A.L. Davis Park, LaSalle Street and Washington Avenue

The march begins at 10 a.m. and is followed by a celebration in A.L. Davis Park at 1 p.m..

Uptown residents should plan for road closures and traffic delays during the event in Central City. Temporary no-parking zones will be in place from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following streets:

• Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard from Calliope Street to Jackson Boulevard
• Martin Luther King Boulevard from Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard to South Claiborne Avenue
• South Claiborne Avenue from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Washington Avenue
• Washington Avenue from South Claiborne Avenue to LaSalle Street
• End: LaSalle Street from Washington Avenue to Second Street

Parking enforcement personnel will be monitoring the area for illegal parking. Call 504-658-8100 for parking enforcement.

All RTA service alerts, updates, and detours can also be accessed by downloading the RTA’s GoMobile app. To learn more, visit or call Ride Line at 504-248-3900.

Celebration at the Ogden

You can also celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St. Admission is free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and family-friendly events and performances are planned.

For more information, go to the website or call 504-539-9650.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers the baccalaureate address in Dillard University’s Lawless Chapel on May 31, 1959. (Dillard University via Facebook)

MLK Worship Service

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “Dimensions of a Complete Life” speech at Dillard University at the HBCU’s 1959 baccalaureate event.

The final MLK event on Tuesday (Jan. 21) will be held at the site of that speech. The Dillard University MLK Worship Service will feature Dallas-based Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III.

The event will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Lawless Memorial Chapel on the Dillard campus, 2601 Gentilly Blvd. It is free and open to the public.

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