By Nicholas Ibarra  | OBSERVER Staff Writer

Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument on September 2, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument on September 2, 2015 in Washington, DC.

In November 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill acknowledging the third Monday of January as the day we celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. It was observed and celebrated by all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Monday marks the 38th celebration of the national holiday first celebrated in 1986. This year, organizations across Sacramento have planned marches and community acts of service to honor the legacy of the late Dr. King. Millions around the world will celebrate and continue to work toward his lifelong dream of equality for all.

Below is a list of local MLK celebrations. These events also can be viewed on The OBSERVER’s community calendar on our website.

Saturday, Jan. 14

  • MLK Candlelight Vigil: Celebrate with the community and remember MLK’s legacy with a lighted community vigil commemoration at the Elk Grove Old Town Plaza.

Sunday, Jan. 15

  • Stephon Clark I Have a Dream Brunch: This inaugural event, hosted by IAMSAC, is to help the community in uniting businesses, nonprofits and church families to celebrate MLK’s spiritual legacy.

Monday, Jan. 16

  • MLK 365 March for the Dream: The march begins officially at Sacramento City College, in the parking lot between the campus and Hughes Stadium. Out of an abundance of caution, everyone is encouraged to mask and dress for cool weather. Event contact: MLK 365.
  • 2023 MLK Day March: Join our North Sacramento neighborhoods for this event, which is rain or shine. The parade starts at Grant Union High School.
  • #ReclaimMLK: A Day of Service: Blacker the Berry & Greens Garden in Oak Park hosts a day of service. The community garden is being rearranged to allow space to grow more food come spring. The garden is built and maintained by the people and provides free food to Black folks in Sacramento regardless of employment or access to other resources.
  • MLK Day Celebration: The UC Davis School of Law hosts this day of service and celebration for the fourth time. Judge Trina Thompson is the keynote speaker. King Hall’s Black Law Student Association and the 2023 MLK Day Working Group have planned a dynamic event for 2023. Join via Zoom.
  • Third annual MLK Day Freedom Caravan and Wellness Fair: The event at 7000 Franklin Blvd. Suite 1000 begins at 9 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed by the caravan parade from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The wellness fair is 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • “DreamSongs” The Musical: The Guild Theater hosts this stunning musical tribute to the songs of Black theater and movies features an award-winning cast of performers as they dress the part and perform scenes and songs from legendary Black theater and movies. 
  • Placer County MLK Day Celebration: The fifth annual Placer MLK event is at Johnson-Springview Park under the theme “Rising Above in Love, Truth and Goodness.”
  • 29th annual City of Davis Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: The theme of this year’s event at the Veterans Memorial Theater is “It Takes a Community.” Guest speakers include Asantewaa Boykin and Laurissa M. Wells, among others.  
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Service at St. Paul: Join us at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church for an MLK service joined by guest speaker Pastor Dr. Alvin C. Bernstine and a community choir hosted by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chapter Choir.

Saturday, Jan. 28:

  • 24th annual MLK Celebration Sacramento: The celebration, hosted by Sacramento State, brings together elected officials, community and business leaders, law enforcement, nonprofits, clergy from all denominations, community members, educators and students to remember and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.