Loading Events

« All Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration

January 18 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and University of Kentucky will come together to once again co-sponsor the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration on Monday, January 18, 2021.

The 2021 events feature the traditional Freedom March at 10:00 a.m.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, there will be some changes to the traditional Freedom March procedures. We encourage the safe participation of individuals and community groups who have been such a critical part of the success of this march for many years.


The March

The Lexington MLK Holiday Committee plans to move forward with the Holiday Freedom March at 10 a.m. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, changes have been made and the planning committee, in conjunction with the Governor’s office and public health officials, will continue to evaluate the virus and its impact on the community. Should the committee determine that the march should be delayed or canceled this year due to public safety and health concerns, participants will be notified. Here are the changes as they stand:

  • To facilitate the safest marching conditions, the march line-up, with which you are familiar, will be temporarily discarded to ensure the maximum possible opportunities for social distancing.
  • As you arrive, all participants are encouraged to line up along High Street adjacent to the Central Bank Center (formerly Lexington Convention Center) in an orderly and physically distanced fashion, while wearing a mask or some form of protective face shield covering.
  • There will not be markers placed to reserve march line-up positions this year, all participants are encouraged to avoid forming in close groups.
  • The entire event will be conducted outdoors. Complimentary parking will be provided in the large Central Bank Center lot on High Street.
  • You can proceed from your vehicles directly to the march beginning at 10:00 a.m. Because of safety for participants, downtown streets will begin closure at 9:45 a.m. through the duration of the march.
  • The Freedom March route in the heart of downtown Lexington will be primarily the same as in previous years, with the exception of beginning on High Street at Central Bank Center and concluding at Triangle Park.

The Program

In the place of a traditional commemorative program held in Heritage Hall, the Committee has partnered with Lexington born filmmaker, Joan Brannon to create the documentary, Fire, and Heart: A Blueprint for Liberation. The documentary examines racial justice and healing discourse for Black people in Kentucky. It includes clips from past MLK Lexington celebrations. It invites the voices of activists and community members currently involved in the movement to share their experiences with direct action, protest, and to discuss the need for healing from racial trauma within the Black community. Featured storytellers are Jecorey Arthur, Hannah Drake, Chester Grundy, Ann Beard Grundy, Keturah Herron, LeTonia Jones, Sadiqa Reynolds, and Sarah Williams. Additional creators of the film include LaShelle Allen (music) and Nzingha-Beverley Sweeney-Sheppard (visual art).

Fire and Heart: A Blueprint for Liberation will go live for viewing on the MLK Holiday Committee’s YouTube channel on Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. Following the debut, the documentary will be screened across several area media platforms and channels throughout January and February 2021.

For questions concerning the annual Freedom March, please feel free to email tallen@uky.edu or call 859-257-8927. For information about the planned programming or how to make contributions to the Lexington MLK Holiday Committee, contact Committee Co-chair, Councilmember James Brown at Jbrown2@lexingtonky.org.

For the most updated details about the day’s events, please visit https://www.facebook.com/LexingtonMLKHoliday


January 18
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category: