50th Anniversary | Lexington's MLK Day Celebration 

This year’s MLK Celebration will be on January 16th beginning with the annual Freedom March at 1 p.m. and concluding with the powerful Commemorative Program held at the Central Bank Center at 2 p.m. We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lexington’s annual city-wide observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, making it one of the oldest such programs in the country. The March begins and ends at the Central Bank Center in downtown Lexington.

“This storied event has been praised by media commentators and several of our illustrious speakers as ‘one of the best in the country for its consistent record of presenting thoughtful, timely and creatively uplifting programs’”, said Chester Grundy, MLK Day Event Chairperson since 1974. “We look forward to celebrating with our community and invite everyone to come together on January 16.” The MLK Holiday Observance in Lexington provides an opportunity for our community to come together to honor Dr. King’s legacy of freedom, justice, peace and equal opportunity for all Americans. The annual March and Program draws participation of several thousand people from across Central Kentucky and beyond. The MLK Holiday Observance is a FREE public event designed to “inspire the better angels of our nature” as we unite as a community to elevate Dr. King’s vision and legacy. 

The Program keynote speaker this year is Dr. David Hall, President of the University of The Virgin Islands. Dr. Hall is also a distinguished legal scholar who is recognized internationally for his contributions to legal scholarship on Race, Social Justice, Leadership and Constitutional Law. Uniting Voices of Chicago will be the featured artist at the Commemorative Program.

The 50th anniversary of this inspirational event is possible due to support from title sponsor Blue Grass Community Foundation and presenting sponsors University of Kentucky and Lexington Fayette Urban County Government.

Please plan to attend and see https://bgcf.givingfuel.com/mlk-holiday-committee-fund to help support this event.

MLK Planning Committee History: Lexington’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance was founded in 1973, five years after the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April, 1968. Mr. Jerry Stevens, the first Director of UK’s Office of Minority Student Affairs and Dr. Edgar Mack, faculty member in UK’s College of Social Work, served as founders and co-coordinators during the early days of this observance. They would later be joined by Chester Grundy, who upon his hiring, would take on the role of program coordinator in 1974. The MLK Holiday was originally established not only to elevate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but to establish an undergraduate scholarship in his honor. More historical details can be found at https://bgcf.givingfuel.com/mlk-holidaycommittee-fund