On Monday, January 16, Athens will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with opportunities for service, parades, music festivals and hip-hop showcases to honor civil rights figures.
Hosted by the Athens Clark County Unity Government, the United Group of Artists and the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, the festival aims to promote service, unity and justice in the community.
MLK Day of Service
The Day of Service begins at 8:30 AM with a Kick-Off Ceremony at Clark Central High School and includes choral performances, speakers and refreshments. Volunteers will then spread out to more than 20 of his project sites, making it “all day, not all day off,” according to the county’s website.
Volunteer registration for the event is currently full, but limited volunteer registration will be available at the kickoff ceremony at Clark Central High School on Monday.
MLK Day Parade and Music Festival
This is the 7th MLK Day Parade and Music Festival, organized by AADM and United Group of Artists. According to event organizer Knowa Johnson, the event she started in 2017 to mark the anniversary of protests against racism experienced in the community.
In recent years, the number of events celebrating national holidays has expanded. In addition to the parade, there are many musical events taking place this weekend.
On Friday, January 13, Atlanta rap legend Kilo Ali will perform a 90s hip-hop R&B show at the 40 Watt Club. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Bobby Rush will be performing at Hendershot’s on Sunday, January 15th at 7:30pm. Bruce his artist has won his two Grammy Awards and is inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
The parade itself will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the corner of Hull and Washington Streets, according to the event’s website. The event includes live music, food, vendors, and parade participants, and ends with a ceremony honoring community elders.
The music festival kicks off at 4:30pm near the 40 Watt Club and includes an outdoor stage with performances by Denzel Gentry, Aquatic Soul, LA-F and more.
At 6pm, the festival concludes with The World Famous with a hip-hop showcase featuring RJX The Eternal, Motorhead 2X, Squalle, JXXIII and more.
“We have quite a mix of artists from Athens as well as artists outside of Athens, so we’re looking forward to making that connection,” Johnson said.[It’s] It’s an amazing high energy show. “