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MLK Jr. Celebrations & Free Museum Days

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Monday, January 15, 2018 - All Day | Cost: FREE
All Over San Francisco | San Francisco, CA


Every year the Bay Area celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of festivals, marches and celebrations highlighted by a march and festival near the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Most of the events are organized by the NorCalMLK Foundation.

Getting There – Monday, January 15, 2018

  • Free BART “Freedom Passes – RSVP by January 7th for free BART flash passes for organizations, churches and community groups to attend the MLK Jr. festivities in SF.
  • MLK 2018 Free Muni Passes – Take MUNI to the MLK2018 celebration events in San Francisco on January 15 and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King through exciting activities for all. RSVP Required
  • Caltrain’s MLK Celebration TrainFree service from San Jose to San Francisco with commemorative ticket leaving San Jose’s Diridon Station at 9:45am and heading back south anytime after 1pm. RSVP Required.
  • Freedom Ferry – Golden Gate Ferry offers two free departure times from Larkspur (9:30a and 10:30a taking you to the San Francisco Ferry Building. RSVP Required.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March / Parade

Monday, January 15, 2018 at 11am – Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. join thousands in honoring the 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama marches at the MLK2018 commemorative march/parade from San Francisco’s Caltrain Station to Yerba Buena Gardens. Details.

The 1.5 mile journey crosses the Lefty O’Doul Bridge and stops at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park to commemorate the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, a symbol of violence and victory in the civil rights movement. On arriving at Yerba Buena Gardens an interfaith commemoration will commemorate Dr. King.

MLK Jr. Festival at Yerba Buena Center

Monday, January 15, 2018 | 1030a to 4pm – Every year on the third Monday in January, over 15,000 attendees come to San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Gardens to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Details

Interfaith Commemoration of MLK Jr. – January 15th at 11:45am – Takes place on the Esplanade Stage at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Main Program – January 15th at 1pm – YBCA Theater
The marquee event of the celebration day brings Tje Urgency of Now to life and features our Grade-A Social Justice panel, featuring a leading activist, actor, athlete, academic, and artist. They will be in conversation with two-time Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist and performer Al Letson. The program begins at 1:00pm on Monday in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.

Music Festival – January 15th at 1:30pm – Yerba Buena Gardens
Enjoy an afternoon of live music and poetry on the lawn in Yerba Buena Gardens. Renown artists will highlight the MLK2018 Music Festival on the Esplanade Stage in Yerba Buena Gardens. Follow us on Twitter @norcalmlk for updates on special guests.

2018 Liberation Film Festival
January 15 – All screenings are free at the YBCA, with limited theater seating on a first-come first-serve basis.

The Liberation Film Festival (LFF) is dedicated to bringing human interest documentary works and short features to fresh, diverse audiences. It was launched in November of 2011 by the NorcalMLK Foundation and premiered its first screenings in January of 2012 and runs concurrently with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday celebration events and takes advantage of the thousands of celebrants attending every year in January. View the film schedule

  • 10:30am – The Death of King
  • Noon – Resilience
  • 1:30pm – Yemanja

Health Festival – January 15th – 11am – YBCA Forum
In partnership with SFEnvironment, The San Francisco Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the American Red Cross, San Francisco Aids Foundation BBE program, along with numerous special programs and services, the MLK2018 Health and Wellness Festival brings together the region’s health providers for a one-day event of free services and exciting activities during the MLK celebration. The goal is to promote health, wellness, sustainability, and preparedness as essential elements of fair, just, and vibrant communities.

2018 Black Comix Arts Festival – January 15th at City View / Metreon
The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. The two-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more.

Free Museum Days

2018 King & Faith Lectures

January 13 – February 17  All conversations are free, with limited seating.

The King & Faith Lectures are designed to create a space to critique, analyze and thoughtfully question assumptions about King and faith, King and community, and King and society.

The lecture series looks to ignite greater dialogue and programs of action that will infuse “where we go from here.” Key questions about freedom, liberation and mission within the present global paradigm will bring to the forefront the tensions that emerge when confronted with the need to make space for those voices that speak against erasure, simplification, and displacement of the cultural narratives that a truly democratic society needs to survive. See the full events schedule.

Free National Parks Day

Monday, January 15, 2018  – On certain “fee-free” days throughout the year, enjoy free entrance to all national parks and monuments including Muir Woods and Yosemite National Park and free admission aboard all of the historic vessels at the Hyde Street Pier of SF’s Maritime National Historical Park.

Please note that starting in 2019 a parking/shuttle reservation will be required at Muir Woods even on “fee-free” days

MLK “Day of Service” Volunteer in the Park

Monday, January 15, 2018  – Make it a “day on” instead of a “day off.” Volunteer in the Golden Gate National Parks at your doorstep and help grow and restore these spectacular parklands. It’s fun, it’s healthy, and it makes a difference—the perfect way to pitch in on a momentous day, launching a new year in the national parks. Full details on volunteering.

Black Comix Arts Festival

January 13-15, 2018 

The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate.

The three-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more. Full Details.

  • Saturday, January 13th – Youth Day at SF Main Public Library (1-5p)
  • Sunday, January 14th – All Day Festival at SF Main Public Library (1-5p)
  • Monday, January 15th – Festival Expo at City View / Metreon (11am to 6pm)

MLK Day Celebration & Pool Party

Saturday, January 13, 2018  – Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Bayview on January 13, 2018. Kick off the day with a community walk starting at the Bayview Opera House (4705 Third St.) at 9 a.m., and ending at Bayview Playground/MLK Pool (5701 Third St.) at 10:30 a.m. Performances, speeches, swimming demos, free lunch, raffles and free family swim at 3 p.m. Full details.

SF’s Black History Festival

January 13 – February 27, 2018  – The San Francisco Public Library hosts a free “More Than a Month” Black History Festival at many library branches to celebrate Black culture, history and heritage. Events including film screenings, lectures, music, craft, dance and storytelling. Full details.

Grace Cathedral’s Tribute to MLK Jr

Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 3pm – Join Grace Cathedral for a free interfaith Evensong in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr featuring a homily by Rev. Yolanda Norton and music by soprano Hope Briggs. Evensong will be followed by the first of their King and Faith Forum Series, panel conversations in partnership with the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation. Full details.


Cost: FREE
Categories: **Annual Event**, *Top Pick*, Fairs & Festivals, MLK Day
Address: San Francisco, CA
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