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Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations planned throughout Arizona

Most of the planned celebrations will be virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

PHOENIX — The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will not stop the celebrations for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Arizona. 

Many of the events planned to honor King's legacy and celebrate multiculturalism and diversity will be held virtually.

The MLK Day holiday is on Monday. Events are planned on, before and after the holiday.

Here are some of the events happening around Arizona:

Scottsdale Thursday, Jan. 14 

Scottsdale's MLK celebration is a virtual event that features Ken E. Nwadike Jr., a peace activist and motivational speaker. He is known as the "Free Hugs Guy" online.  

Stream the event

More information on the event here

Phoenix Friday, Jan. 15 at 11 a.m.

The Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee will host the 35th Annual AZ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK Living the Dream “Virtual” Celebration.

The celebration will be dedicated to civil rights leader Calvin C. Goode, who passed away in December. 

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be the keynote speaker. He will be joined by civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. 

To watch the celebration visit the City of Phoenix's YouTube channel

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Phoenix hosted a car parade. They also hosted a Zoom event so people at home could watch the parade. Check it out here:

Surprise Saturday, Jan. 16 at 9 a.m.

The City of Surprise will host a virtual program to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The event will lead into a day community service. 

You can enjoy the program on Surprise TVFacebook and Instagram 

More information on the event here.  

Chandler Saturday, Jan. 16 at 11 a.m.

The City of Chandler will host the 26th Annual Multicultural Festival virtually.

The hour-long event will be feature musical performances, a henna demonstration and three cooking segments. 

“The Annual Multicultural Festival has always been a community favorite with participation from multiple organizations and volunteers to showcase their culture,” said Diversity Supervisor Niki Tapia. “We’re thrilled to be able to still work with our partners to make a virtual experience for our residents to learn about different cultures in our community.” 

You can watch the event on the City of Chandler Facebook page

More information on the event here.  

Mesa Monday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m.

The City of Mesa will host a virtual parade instead of an in-person event.

More information on this event here.   

Paradise Valley Monday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m.

The City of Paradise Valley has a virtual event planned for MLK Day. The event will feature speakers, music and local students will read essays.  

More information on the event here

Arizona State University Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. 

The annual MLK March on West through Arizona State University will be different this year also due to the ongoing pandemic. 

The event will be online and participants will "experience a visual mix of live presentations and video clips of the historical 1963 March on Washington, D.C. and past MLK Marches on West," according to organizers.

There will be musical program and a live rendition of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. 

More information on this event here

Harkins Theatres Jan. 16-18

Harkins Theatres will offer free screenings of the movie "Selma" at select theatres over the weekend.

Guests must get their tickets at the box office on a first come, first served basis. No purchase is necessary. Tickets cannot be purchased or reserved online. 

Participating theatres: Arrowhead Fountains 18, Chandler Fashion 20, Christown 14, Estella Falls 16, Norterra 14, Queen Creek 14, Scottsdale 101 14, Superstition Springs 25, Tempe Marketplace 16, Flagstaff 16, Tucson Spectrum 18

More information on the screenings here

AZPBS Mini Documentary Series Monday, Jan. 18 at 5 p.m.

The cities of Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert and Mesa MLK Celebration Committee joined together with AZPBS to produce a digital three-part mini documentary series based on King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

The mini docs feature local artists and others.

It will be broadcasted on PBS. 

More information on the documentary series here

Regional Unity ArtWalk Jan. 5-31

Instead of gathering at Tempe Town Lake this year, the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Guadalupe, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe are hosting a Unity “Art” Walk.

The theme is “Unity Artwalk: A Visual Journey of Diversity, Culture and Equity."

"Unity is essential, now more than ever. In the midst of COVID-19 and a modern civil rights movement, our cities are continuing the tradition of bringing together families, friends and neighbors - safely," according to organizers. 

More information on this event here

Learn more about the MLK Day holiday in Arizona here.