What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle celebrates MLK Day with marches, service projects

Posted January 15
Updated January 16

— How will you spend the upcoming holiday? All day on Jan. 16, you can celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King with these Martin Luther King, Jr. Day marches, speeches and services.

Every event listed below is open to the entire community. Events are free unless noted otherwise.

View a full list of MLK Day events.

Memorial services and marches

Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - This annual tradition, now in its 37th year, features a discussion from keynote speaker Reverend James White at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center in Durham. Breakfast is served from 6 to 8 a.m., and the program begins at 7:30 a.m.

You can watch the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on WRAL-TV at 8 a.m. and on FOX 50 at noon.

37th Annual MLK Memorial Day March - Another longstanding tradition, this community march departs from State Capitol Building in downtown Raleigh. Assembly begins at 10 a.m.

Fuquay-Varina Celebration - A march starts at Fuquay-Varina Middle School and ends at First Baptist Church, where breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m. A program begins at 10 a.m. with a community children’s choir and the Rev. Lakethia Chapman.

Chapel Hill Celebration - This Chapel Hill event features a 9:15 a.m. rally at the Peace and Justice Plaza followed by a march down Franklin Street to the historic First Baptist Church for a program featuring music and a keynote speaker. Activities will wrap up around 1 p.m.

Evening Musical Celebration - The 37th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening Musical Celebration at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts will feature special guests gospel recording artist Ruth LaOntra, the nationally-acclaimed Martin Luther King All Children’s Choir, The Christian Angels and many others. Music starts at 5:30 p.m.

Service projects

Town of Cary's Day of Service - Volunteers will contribute their time doing a variety of hands-on tasks to help maintain and beautify the area around Middle Creek Community Center. Registration is required through the Town of Cary.

The Time is Now 5K - The Time Is Now 5K will start promptly at 7:30 a.m. at the Old Well on Cameron Avenue in Raleigh. In keeping with Dr. King’s bridge-building work, all funds raised will be donated to the Faith Danielle Hedgepeth Award, created by the American Indian center, in conjunction with the Carolina Indian Circle to celebrate and honor the life of former Tar Heel Faith Danielle Hedgepeth and her legacy of service. Registration is $25.

Just for kids

Birthday Party for MLK at Northgate Mall - Storytime in English and Spanish, kids' zumba, interactive activities, crafts, performances, service projects and birthday cake make up this free event celebrating Dr. King at Durham's Northgate Mall. Participants are asked to donate nonperishable food, gently used children's winter clothing and coats or new underwear/socks for local families in need served by Urban Ministries of Durham.

Community Heroes Day - Celebrate community heroes on MLK Day at Marbles Kids Museum. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., kids and their parents can meet real community heroes like paramedics, teachers and police officers. While they're there, they can help pack food for the Backpack Buddies program.


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  • Tony Biancardi Jan 16, 2017
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    He has a long history of racist comments/actions. He was sued for housing discrimination against blacks. His comments and actions concerning the Central Park 5 is another example. And his frequent comments about blacks living in high-crime, poverty-stricken areas are nothing less than racial slurs. If you're interested, here's more:

  • Lance Cotten Jan 16, 2017
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    yes I am very much aware of what Mr. Lewis went through and I respect him for that for the struggle he along with so many others endured! However King also would recognize a "legitimate" president... and btw Trump has NEVER attacked disabled people the way CNN would have you believe with that one example they always refer too... and what exactly has he done to black people??

  • Tony Biancardi Jan 16, 2017
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    I'm sure MLK would be too busy speaking out against Trump's attacks on the disabled, hispanics, blacks women and basic human decency in general, and having to deal with his own Twitter attacks. And by the way, Lewis was with MLK from the beginning, getting his head bashed in, so I doubt if you could turn the two against each other.

  • Lance Cotten Jan 16, 2017
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    Wonder if Mr. King would agree with the "legitimacy" opinion that, his friend in the civil rights struggle, congressman Lewis currently holds? I think not...