Things to Do in Austin on MLK Day Weekend 2014

MLK Day LiveMom

Although it seems as though the kids just went back to school, we will be taking a day off on Monday to commemorate the life and good works of Martin Luther King, Jr. Need some help deciding what to do, starting today and through the holiday weekend? Not to worry — we have you covered!


MLK Oratory Competition

The MLK Oratory Competition will take place at the George Washington Carver Museum’s Boyd Vance Theatre on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 from 6-8pm. Oratory Finalists will compete in a five-minute speech based on the theme, “As a student of Dr. King’s life, what message of hope do you think he would have for the world today?” These inspiring young speakers will compete by delivering personally written speeches commemorating Dr. King’s legacy of peace and unity.

The MLK Youth Scholarship Awards awards will be presented at the MLK Youth Scholarship Awards Program scheduled for 3pm-5pm, Saturday, January 18, 2014, Austin Community College, 3401 Webberville Road, Building 8000, Multipurpose Room, Austin, TX 78702. All of the nominees are invited to lead the MLK Community March.

MLK Day Carver documentary screenings

MLK Celebration

This Wednesday, January 15th, celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center! Documentaries will be shown all throughout the day, 11am – 6pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Film screening

The San Marcos Public Library will be screening The Crossroads: San Marcos Stories, a short film of local residents telling their stories of the Civil Rights era at 7pm. The film was made by university students in Dr. Dave Nolan’s Visual Storytelling Class at Texas State University.

Engaging Your Dreams Exhibit Opening

The Engaging Your Dreams exhibit opens on Friday, January 17th at Walkers’ Gallery at the San Marcos Activity Center. The exhibit includes a section of photographs of MLK and LBJ.

27th Annual Commemorative Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk & Celebration

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Round Rock’s 27th Annual MLK Commemorative Walk & Celebration from 1 to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18th.

The commemorative walk will begin at CD Fulkes Middle School, 300 West Anderson Ave. Participants should be at the school between 1 and 1:30 p.m. The march will begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at the Allen R. Baca Center at approximately 2 p.m.

The program is scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. We will have local speakers and entertainment. Light refreshments will be served.

The celebration is free of charge and open to the public. We are encouraging participants to bring canned goods that will be donated to the Round Rock Area Serving Center.


Peace Through Pie

Peace Through Pie believes hosting a pie social with “Peace Pie” at the center of the table is the ideal way to foster tradition on the Martin Luther King Holiday and the perfect way to kick off the year-round pie social season. The act of service is at the heart of a Peace Through Pie Social. There’s the gathering together at the table to literally serve each other delicious pieces of pie. But, there is also the service to one another that comes when we pass down history and tradition — all with the primary purpose of promoting peace. Although you can organize your own event and become a Pie-o-neer, here are a few that are open to the public:

Sweet Home Peace Through Pie Social

Saturday, January 18th from 2-4:30 pm


Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church is hosting its 6th annual Peace Through Pie Social to celebrate MLK holiday. Musical Guests: Bells of Joy Bring everyone and come out to celebrate with us. Feel free to bring your favorite pie to share.

Peace Through Pie at Faith4Life Church

Saturday, January 18th from 5-7pm


Toni Tipton-Martin joins Pastor Evan and Minister Priscilla Black in celebration of community, diversity and Dr. King’s vision of Beloved Community with music, a pie baking contest, pie raffle, pie-making demonstration, and home-made sweet and savory pies.

St. James’ Episcopal Pie Social and Auction

Sunday, January 19th from noon-1:30pm


Join us to celebrate MLK Jr Day at our 10:15am service, then stay to visit over pie afterwards! We gather in recognition of Dr. King’s dream of a beloved community to enjoy pies (both pizza and sweet pies) and to auction off selected pies to support music and youth ministries at St. James’.

Public reception honoring President Johnson and Dr. King and local Civil Rights trailblazers

On Sunday, January 19th at 6:30 the City of San Marcos is sponsoring a public reception honoring President Johnson and Dr. King and local Civil Rights Trailblazers the Activity Center. Special guests include Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nick Kotz, and local Civil Rights Trailblazers.


MLK March, Community Festival and Food Drive

The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 9am with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. We will then march to the south steps of the State Capitol for a short program and marchers will continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned.

The MLK Community Festival kicks off as soon the march arrives on location and will last until 3pm; it will include all types of vendors and local musical artists to make this year’s celebration the best ever!

This year, we are asking marchers to help by donating can goods or non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. Help to give to those in need by helping the Capital Area Food Bank fill their shelves with non-perishable food items.

Donation receptacles will be available at The University of Texas and the Capitol, while the march is in those locations. Receptacles will also be available at the festival at Huston-Tillotson University.

Please follow these guidelines when considering what to donate:

  • Healthy, non-perishable foods

  • Items with intact, un-opened, consumer or commercial packaging

  • Items with non-breakable packaging (no glass, please)

  • Food within the expiration date on the packaging

  • Food from your community or backyard garden

  • Canned meats like tuna, stew, and chili (pop-tops preferred)

  • Canned Vegetables

  • Pasta and pasta sauce

  • Beans

  • Healthy cereals

  • Peanut butter

Free parking for the MLK March and Festival is available in these areas:

  • State’s Visitors Garage (Corner of 12th & San Jacinto St. – downtown Austin)

  • Disch-Falk Field (1300 E. MLK Blvd.)

  • Kealing Middle School (1607 Pennsylvania Ave.)

  • Holy Cross Catholic Church (1610 E. 11th)

  • Blackshear Elementary (1712 E. 11th)

  • Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church (1801 Pennsylvania Ave.)

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church (1206 E. 9th)

  • Mt. Olive Baptist Church (1800 E. 11th)

Free Admission to LBJ Presidential Museum

The LBJ Presidential Library is one of thirteen Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It houses 45 million pages of historical documents which include the papers from the entire public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates. The Museum now charges admission, but to ensure that President Johnson’s wish for the library to “be available to all”, entrance fees are waived on several days during the year, including MLK Day. Hours: 9am-5pm.

Annual MLK Observance

The Dunbar Heritage Association is sponsoring a special program and speakers on Monday, January 20th at 10am, followed by a march down LBJ to MLK Drive in San Marcos. The program will include a dedication of the sculpture by Louisiana artist Aaron Hussey that commemorates the historic collaboration of President Johnson and Dr. King to forge Civil Rights legislation 50 years ago. Special guests include Aaron Hussey and Luci Johnson, daughter of President Johnson. Following the dedication, participants will march to Dunbar Center, 801 MLK Drive, for a Peace Pie Social sponsored by local churches and Centro Hispano Cultural de San Marcos.

Georgetown Fellowship of Churches MLK March and ProgramAdvertisement
Community members are also invited to a seven-block march from the Williamson County Courthouse at 710 S. Main St. to Macedonia Baptist Church at 206 Martin Luther King St. The march, which begins at noon and is sponsored by the Georgetown Fellowship of Churches, leads up to a panel discussion at the church beginning at 12:30 p.m. Speakers include the Rev. Donald Brewington, chaplin of Huston-Tillotson University, and Tanisha Coppage, Miss Round Rock Plus America. Both events are free.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES (listed in alphabetical order)

Note: These opportunities are filling up fast, and we are only posting those opportunities which still had spots at “press time”. Some events are for adults only, but we have contacted the organizers to see if kids can tag along. We’ll modify this list based on what we learn.

Camp Fire Givens Park Cleanup

All are welcome to attend the community clean-up event at Givens Park to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service! We will clean up the park & creek area, while recognizing the ways that we can all give back to our community. This event is open to everyone, even dogs! No minimum age to participate.

RSVP on the event Facebook page for Saturday, January 18th from 9-11am.

Georgetown Project Youth Service Day

The Georgetown Project hosts a youth service day for children in grades 9th through 12th at the Georgetown Teen Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave. Students participate in service projects including playing games with seniors at a nursing home; park cleanup and beautification projects; working at the Nest, The Georgetown Project’s drop-in day center for homeless teens; and landscaping at the Georgetown Housing Authority. Other projects include working at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, writing letters to members of the military, creating games for summer camps and creating care packages for nursing home residents and homeless youth, according to a news release. The event begins at 9 a.m. and will be followed by a free pizza lunch at the Teen Center. For more information, call The Georgetown Project at 512-943-5198 or Katie Coffman at the Teen Center at 512-931-2744.

Givens Park – Habitat Restoration

Monday, January 20th from 9-11am

Help the Watershed Protection Department re-establish native plant species by removing invasive exotic plant species from the Grow Zone of Austin’s creeks and streams.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for the weather – long pants and closed-toed shoes suggested! Bring a water bottle or camelback to refill.

RAIN DATE:  Saturday January 25th

Register for Jan. 20th

Human Rights Campaign & LifeWorks

Volunteer to assemble donated items into care bags that LifeWorks can give to the LGBT homeless youth whom they serve, beautify LifeWorks’s facilities, and serve food & eat with LGBT homeless and at-risk youth.

Sign up to volunteer for shifts between 10:30am-6pm on Saturday, January 18.

(You can also donate the following items by January 17th, which are urgently needed by LGBT homeless youth:

  • New and unopened travel-sized toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, soap/body wash, shampoo, conditioner, brush/comb, body lotion, deodorant, lip balm, disposable razors, shaving cream, foot powder, sunscreen

  • Clothing items including tube socks, solid color t-shirts

Please label them “MLK DOS” and drop them off at the following location between January 2nd through 17th:


3700 S. First St.

Austin, TX 78704

Monday – Friday

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

To help keep track, please pledge here to with information on what you plan to donate.

Kealing Middle School & Neighborhood Clean-Up

The Parent-Teacher-Association (PTA) of Kealing Middle School invites you to participate in a Community Clean-up in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service on Saturday, January 18th from 9:45am-12:45pm. Volunteer duties may include picking up litter, separating recyclable materials, and painting over graffiti at a selected location. Please wear close-toed shoes and bring landscaping or other gloves (if you have them). Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. The Clean-up will conclude with refreshments and snacks for our volunteers at Kealing Middle School at 1607 Pennsylvania Avenue. Minimum age to volunteer with an adult is 7 years old.

Register for Saturday, Jan. 18th

Keep Austin Beautiful MLK Blvd. Cleanup

After our all volunteer kick off at JJ Seabrook Park, volunteers signed up to pick up trash along MLK Blvd will split into teams and will make their way with their team leaders to clean up their allocated section of MLK Blvd. Because we expect numbers of volunteers to be larger than ever, we have been able to expand our clean-up efforts all the way from 183 to Chicon! Minimum age requirement with an adult is 2.

Register here for Saturday, Jan. 18th

MLK Day of Service Road Cleanup at McKinney Falls Pkwy

We will be picking up litter along McKinney Falls Parkway between Smith School Rd and E. William Cannon Blvd. Please wear close-toed shoes and long pants. Bright colored clothing is encouraged. Please bring along garden or work gloves if you have them, if not, plastic gloves will be provided. Please bring a water bottle as well. Trash bags will be provided. We will meet in the Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters parking lot at 8am for a brief orientation and split into groups for the clean-up. Children of all ages are welcome but must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

Register for Saturday, Jan. 18th

MLK Day of Service United Way of Williamson County

The annual event honors Dr. King’s legacy and is an opportunity for Americans to renew their own personal vows of citizenship through service to others. As a volunteer, you can assist with a variety of projects throughout the county, joining hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in volunteer service on this holiday. Volunteers 18 or younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Register for Monday, Jan. 20th

MLK Day Book Drive 2014

Coming of Age will be participating in a state wide project with the Texas Senior Corps Association in conjunction with the annual MLK Day of Service 2014. We will collect new and gently used books to assist in rebuilding of the schools damaged in the West Fertilizer Plant. You can donate new or gently used books for Kindergarten – 5th grade students until Jan. 17th at the Coming of Age offices (100 N. IH-35, Suite 3800). For book pick up, please contact Debra Price (512) 854-5872.

MLK Day: Habitat Restoration – Invasive removal

An ongoing invasive removal project designed to restore native habitat needs volunteers to cut invasive non-native bamboo and arundo. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for the weather – closed-toed shoes and long pants recommended. Bring a water bottle or camelback-type system to refill and your favorite work gloves.

Register for Jan. 18th, 9am-noon at Bartholomew Park

MLK Day Buttermilk Creek Cleanup

Keep Austin Beautiful and Austin Youth River Watch are organizing a service project in the St. Johns neighbhorhood. This workday will include a cleanup and restoration project at Buttermilk Creek behind the St. Johns Community Center. Help clean the creek, restore native creek habitat by installing seed blankets, and learn how to protect our creeks while celebrating the holiday with other passionate members of the community. Tools, gloves, guidance, and refreshments will be provided. Please wear warm clothes and closed-toe shoes. Park at the St. Johns Neighborhood Community Center. Volunteers will meet at the creek, which runs along the community center.

Register for Monday, Jan. 20th

MLK Day Williamson Creek Cleanup

Volunteers will remove trash and sow seeds along the creek bank to prevent erosion and promote wildlife habitat. All cleanup supplies, gloves, guidance, and seeds will be provided. Please wear warm clothing and closed-toe shoes, and bring a water bottle.

Register for Saturday, Jan. 18th

MLK Day Workday at Colorado River Wildlife Sanctuary

Volunteers will be working to clean the sanctuary and plant trees. The cleanup site is a short hike away from the parking lot, so please arrive on time and wear comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes. Volunteers should also wear weather appropriate clothing and bring a water bottle.

Register for Monday, Jan. 20th

Pease Park Clean Up Day

Monday, January 20th from 1-4pm

Spend a few hours on MLK Day helping to pick up trash from the creek left over from the Halloween Floods as well as planting some one-gallon tree saplings. Wear old clothes, bring a pair of work gloves and meet at the picnic tables at the south end of Pease Park.

To register, contact Richard Craig at 512.925.5306 or

Success by 6 Material Preparation

Help in creating and organizing materials for the HighScope Math Curriculum used within our partnered child-care facilities. Projects include: cutting out various shapes, putting together shape sets, making hopscotch boards. etc.

Register for January 18th

United Way Day of Service Williamson County

The United Way of Williamson County is also hosting a Day of Service event from 9 a.m.–noon for teens and adults. Service projects are available in Georgetown, Leander, Round Rock and Taylor. Visit or call 512-255-6799 for more information.

Urban Roots

Urban Roots will be holding two Mornings of Service on the farm in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. Volunteers can expect to be outdoors the entire time doing physical work on the farm. These will be fun and educational days for all. Minimum volunteer age is 10 years old.

Register for Saturday, Jan. 18th

Register for Monday, Jan. 20th


If you are working on Monday and need something for the kids to do, here are a few camps we found out about:

  • WAYA Sportball: A one day camp combining sports and games; Register here

Are we missing anything?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 7-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

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