Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER) – With the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases around Cincinnati, many celebrations planned for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday have moved from in-person to virtual-only, our media partners in Cincinnati Enquirer mentioned.

Here is a list of local events honoring the civil rights leader this year.

Saturday January 15

MLK Service Day: Neighborhood Cleanup, 11 a.m., Westwood City Hall, 3017 Harrison Avenue, Westwood. Join neighbors, the Westwood Civic Association and the Price Hill Safety CAT in the first neighborhood cleanup of the year.

Monday January 17

In-person events

MLK Day Memorial Walk, 10:30 a.m., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 Freedom Way, Downtown. Walk from the Freedom Center to Washington Park, ending with an interfaith prayer service. Mandatory masks.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast and Community Forum, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center, 800 Lafayette Ave., Middletown. Community breakfast, health screenings, speakers and community vision. Sponsored by the City of Middletown.

Free entry, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown. Book your tickets online:

Cincinnati Parks MLK Service Day, register:

  • 9am-12pm, MLK Park, Avondale.
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Alms Park, Columbia Tusculum and Mount Lookout.
  • 9am-12pm, Fairview Park, CUF/Clifton.
  • 10am-1pm, Walnut Woods, Evanston.
  • 1 to 4 p.m. California Woods, CA.

NAACP Northern Kentucky Branch Dr. Martin Luther King Community Outreach Luncheon, noon, Newport Syndicate, 18 E. Fifth St. Dr. David Childs, professor of education at Northern Kentucky University, will be the keynote speaker.

MLK Donation Week: Blood drive, January 17-23. Donate blood at Hoxworth Blood Center neighborhood donor centers. All donors receive a free “It Takes All Types” umbrella. 513-558-1200;

Martin Luther King Jr. Skate, 1-5 p.m., Beechmont Rollarena, 3988 Commercial Blvd., Union Township. Admission $7, skate rental $2 to $4. 513-753-6868;

MLK Day Holiday Skating, 3-5 p.m., Goggin Ice Center, 610 Oak St., Oxford.

Virtual events

MLK Day Memorial Program, midday. Live stream via

Be the Dream MLK celebration in Lebanon, 7 p.m. via YouTube and Facebook. The event includes keynote speaker Dr. Celeste Didlick-Davis, musical performances, major drumming awards, student art presentation and more.

Live the dream: our statement of unity, midday. Stream virtual program on West Chester Township’s Live the Dream Facebook page and YouTube channel. Includes keynote speaker, Reverend Kendall Wright, plus lyrics, introductions and music by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In-person walk is cancelled.

Celebrating the King’s Legacy, 9 a.m. via National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Speakers include Lance Wheeler, Mona Jenkins, Celia Willliamson and Linda Early Chastang. Performances by the Central State University Choir and new chamber musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. $15.

MLK Week at Mont Saint-Joseph College, 11 a.m. via Zoom. The keynote speaker is Dr. Wilson Okello. See the entire week’s activities, which include a social justice forum, a leadership luncheon and a day of service, at

Martin’s dream streaming online from January 17 to February 28 via the Children’s Theater of Cincinnati. The production brings this historical figure to life through the power of story, word and song. Two versions available: one adapted to young audiences and another from 8 years old.

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Jennifer C. Burleigh