MLK Jr. Day Events in Southeast Michigan


On Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, our nation honors perhaps the greatest civil rights activist: Martin Luther King Jr. Here in southeast Michigan, local spots do their part by offering family-friendly MLK events in celebration of this man and all he accomplished. From inspiring speeches to craft activities, exhibits and more, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties offer a variety of events this MLK Jr. Day. Metro Parent has checked out and listed some of these events at favorite local spots. So take a peek at this list and find a fitting way to honor Dr. King. Note that events are listed roughly in date/time order.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit

Jan. 13, 2017 (Friday prior)

  • Address: 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-5284
  • Time: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/program, $65/program and luncheon

Wayne State University hosts a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute featuring this year’s keynote speaker: Olympic runner Allyson Felix.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert at the Walgreen Drama Center in Ann Arbor

Jan. 15, 2017

  • Address: 1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-0583
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate MLK Day with a tribute concert by the accomplished musical keynote performer Jade Simmons. Registration encouraged.

MLK Day at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with museum admission: $8/ages 13-61, $5/ages 3-12, free/under 3

Today is this historical hotspot’s busiest day of the year. Arrive early for the annual commemorative breakfast at 8 a.m. (additional fees apply), and stick around to hear keynote speaker Dr. Derrick as he presents “The 1967 Revolutionary King: Where Do We Go From Here?” at 2 p.m. The museum and all of its exhibits and activities are open until 6 p.m., too.

Celebration of Freedom at Athens High School in Troy

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 4333 John R St., Troy
  • Phone: 248-524-1147
  • Time: 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Free; donations accepted

All are welcome to join Athens High School as it hosts the city’s annual event, Celebration of Freedom, which celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a variety of community service projects and other activities.

MLK Peace Walk Celebration in Southfield

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: Hope United Methodist Church and Southfield Pavilion (addresses in description below)
  • Time 9:30 a.m./walk, 11 a.m./program
  • Cost: Free

Families gather at Hope United Methodist Church (26275 Northwestern Highway) for this 32-year-old walk commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., sponsored by Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, Inc. The program afterward happens at the Southfield Pavilion (26000 Evergreen Road).

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Henry Ford Museum

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate MLK’s life with live music, hands-on activities and crafts.

MLK Jr.: Bring the Dream to Life at the Detroit Historical Museum

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7935
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free; parking fees apply

Today, the museum offers a wide variety of activities, crafts and performances that let families of all backgrounds play together, and learn of King’s life and legacy, in honor of his birthday.

MLK Jr. Day at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-995-5439
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $6/ages 2-plus (special pricing)

On MLK Jr. Day, the AAHOM offers a reduced admission rate and tons of fun, including presentations by Ron the Bubbleman at 1 and 3 p.m.

MLK Jr. Day at the Farmington Community Library Main Branch

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 32737 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-848-4307
  • Time: 10:45 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The day kicks off at 10:45 a.m. at the library with sign making for the march down 12 Mile Road, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. After the march, at 12:15 p.m., enjoy a keynote presentation by Ber-Henda Williams, called Your Role in the Legacy, followed by a performance by the Warner Middle School Choir at 1:15 p.m., and stories with “The Storytellers” at 2:30 p.m. Later in the day, find spoken art by Farmington students, a performance by the Harrison High School Dance Company, a Q & A session, and a screening of The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero. Plus, kids crafts will be going on from 1 to 7 p.m. and a “Valentines for seniors” craft from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MLK Jr. Day Story Time at the Roseville Public Library

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 29777 Gratiot Ave., Roseville
  • Phone: 586-445-5407
  • Time: 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Miz Rosie tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life through the eyes of his wife, Coretta Scott King.

Carillon Concert at the Burton Memorial Tower

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 881 University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-0583
  • Time: noon
  • Cost: Free

This event is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium and features a performance by a U-M carillonist, alongside students, performing music by various African American composers on the 53-bell carillon in the tower. You can listen outside, or climb the tower to see the bells.

Martin Luther King Day at the University of Michigan Detroit Center

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-593-3584
  • Time: 12:30-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

A panel discussion titled “1960s Music and Rebellion: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” will explore music and the role that it played, and the impact it had, during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement.

MLK Day Concert at the Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-327-4200
  • Time: 1-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The Biakuye Percussion Group performs a special show for kids in grades K and older – plus adults.

MLK Family Day at Painting with a Twist in Ferndale

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 200 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-397-5856
  • Time: United Love: 1-3 p.m., United as One: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: $25/seat for United Love, $35/seat for United as One

Create your own MLK Day masterpiece at this Ferndale spot. There are two MLK Day options this year: “United Love,” for ages 7-plus, and “United as One,” for adults. Register in advance to secure seat.

Park Stewardship Work Day at Black Pond Woods Nature Area

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 2080 Tibbits Court, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-794-6627
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Natural Area Preservation, an organization that works to protect nature spaces in Ann Arbor, encourages local residents to use their MLK Day off to volunteer. Head here and help remove invasive shrubs and clean up the area. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes (dress for weather!). Tools, snacks and training provided.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: free/admission to the museum for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, free/kids 5 and under and members; others: $12.50/adults, $6/ kids, $7/college students, $8/seniors

The 1970s documentary King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis, follows the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and plays today at 2 p.m. Find MLK-inspired crafts starting at 11 a.m. and guided tours at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., too.

MLK Jr. Day at the Flint Public Library

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 1026 E. Kearsley St., Flint
  • Phone: 810-232-7111
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This annual event celebrates the life of MLK Jr. with a keynote speech by pediatrician, humanitarian and activist, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, musical performances, a presentation of the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, crafts (starting at 1 p.m.) and more. Note: Activities at the Flint Institute of Arts follow this event.

MLK Jr. Day at the Baldwin Public Library

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 300 W. Merrill St., Birmingham
  • Phone: 248-647-1700
  • Time: 3-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Miz Rosie entertains kids of all ages with music played on African music, African American folktales and more – all in celebration of MLK Day.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Flint Institute of Arts

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 1120 E. Kearsley St., Flint
  • Phone: 810-234-1695
  • Time: 4-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Enjoy a step performance by The Gamma Delta Kudos and the Kappa Leadership League, a re-enactment of the iconic “I Have a Dream” address, a keynote speech by Fr. Lawrence Reynolds and more. There’s light refreshments, a family activity presented by the FIA Art School and a chance to check out the museum’s galleries, too. Note: Activities at the library precede this event.

Canton Celebrates Dr. King at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: $2/person, $5/family

This tribute, titled Canton Celebrates Dr. King, celebrates his legacy with music and dance; plus a presentation by a keynote speaker.

MLK Jr. Day at the Ypsilanti District Library Whittaker Branch

Jan. 16, 2017

  • Address: 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti
  • Phone: 734-482-4110
  • Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement, and this fun event highlights their contribution by exploring how they used music to make a difference, and giving kids a chance to write and perform their own music with Akili Jackson.

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