Sacramento’s main Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade will take place on Monday, Jan. 16, rain or shine. This is the march’s 42nd year and it will be back in person for the first time since 2020, just before the pandemic canceled the event for the next two years. Sam Starks, organizer and executive director of the non-profit hosting the march, MLK365, says the weather won’t keep participants from walking their traditional four mile loop around the city.
“If you look at what the civil rights folks did, a lot of that was in the rain, and they thought it was not too high a price to pay to raise the awareness and put their bodies in the movement,” Starks said. “So if they did it, I figure we can do it.”
Traditionally, about 30,000 walkers have participated in this citywide walk that starts at Sacramento City College, loops through Land Park, down Freeport Boulevard and into Oak Park. Starks says he’s excited to be back in person after the two-year hiatus. And, he adds, people have walked in the rain in previous years.
“In my 22 years of hosting this, we’ve walked in the rain plenty of times, and somehow it makes it all the sweeter,” he said.
People will start assembling in the Sacramento City College parking lot between the college and Hughes Stadium at 8 am on Monday. There will be half an hour of speeches beginning at 8:30 am, which will include a statement from Betty Williams, president of the Sacramento chapter of the NAACP. The march will begin at 9 am and end back at the Sacramento City College parking lot.
Other events taking place in Sacramento on Monday to honor Dr. King’s birthday include:
What: The 3rd Annual MLK Day Freedom Caravan and Wellness Fair
When: 9am – 3pm
Where: 7000 Franklin Blvd. Suites 1000
What: The fair will begin with breakfast at 9 am, followed by the caravan parade from 10 am – 1 pm The wellness fair will be held from 11:30 am – 3 pm
What: 2023 MLK Day March
When: 8:30am – 2pm
Where: Grant Union High School, 1400 Grand Ave.
What: A North Sacramento march honoring MLK Jr. Day
What: #ReclaimMLK: A Day of Service
When: 11am – 1pm
Where: Blacker the Berry & Greens Garden – Oak Park, 3229 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd,
What: Volunteer in the community garden owned and operated by Black Lives Matter Sacramento. The garden provides free food to Black families in the area and they are looking for volunteers to help prepare it for spring.
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