KNOXVILLE, TENN. - In 1998, Knoxville's first community-wide service to honor slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held at the Greater Warner Tabernacle A.M.E Zion Church.
Since then, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission has added more events and special services to honor Dr. King's work to bring about change in our nation.
Today, the commission plans and hosts activities that last over several days leading up to the national holiday honoring Dr. King. The 2017 activities run from Jan. 11-16. The events include everything from the Race Against Racism to the MLK parade on Jan. 16.
For a full list of activities visit the MLK Commemorative Commission's website.
MLK Commemorative Commission Activities:
Monday, Jan. 16 - MLK Parade
Line-up starts at 8:30 a.m.
Step-off is at 10 a.m.
The 2017 parade route goes from the Tabernacle Baptist Church on MLK Avenue to Greater Warner AME Zion Church. The parade will be followed by the annual Memorial Tribute Service. The guest speaker at the Memorial Service is Dr. Calvin O. Butts III who is the Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.
Online registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 13. For more information contact the Parade Chair: Parade@MLKKnoxville.com
Monday, Jan. 16 - Night with the Arts
A Night with the Arts featuring the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra
Historic Tennessee Theatre
604 S. Gay St.
This event features an original stage production featuring area singers, dancers, actors, poets and the MLK Holiday Choir.
Guests are encouraged to arrive early to get a god seat. Free shuttle services will be available from the State Street Parking Garage.
Friday, Jan. 6 - Gallery of Arts Tribute & Opening Ceremony
Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay St. STE 201
6 to 8 p.m.
A partnership between the MLK Commemorative Commission and the Arts & Alliance of Greater Knoxville. The Gallery of Arts Tribute is a juried exhibition developed to recognize local artists and Dr. King's legacy.
The exhibit will remain on display through Jan. 31.
Wednesday, Jan. 11 - Interfaith Prayer Service
The traditional opening event to MLK Week, the prayer service is at noon at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike.
Thursday, Jan. 12 - Leadership Educational Symposium
8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Knoxville Marriott Hotel Ballroom
500 Hill Ave.
Panel, group and roundtable discussions followed by the Leadership Awards Luncheon.
The 2017 Keynote speaker is Mr. Donald Casimere, the founding member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.
Friday, Jan. 13 - Community Forum
Beck Cultural Exchange Center
1927 Dandridge Ave.
Now in its 10th year, this is a joint community forum held by the commission and the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). The event is described as an evening of fellowship, conversation and music. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 865-776-5050.
Saturday, Jan. 14 - Youth Symposium
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Austin-East High School
2800 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave
Held in partnership with the Knoxville Chapter of Jack & Jill of America the symposium is held to provide leadership training for young people in our area. Participants must register at mlkknoxville.com.
Saturday, Jan. 14 - Y.W.C.A. Race Against Racism
Y.W.C.A. Phyllis Wheatley Center
124 S. Cruze St.
Pre-registration and pre-race festival starts at 11 a.m.
This event is a 5K run/one mile walk along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
(© 2017 WBIR)