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MLK Jr. Celebrations & Free Museum Days

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Monday, January 21, 2019 - 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 21, 2019

  • 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 2019 Free Muni Passes – Take MUNI to the MLK2019 celebration events in San Francisco on January 21 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 (9:30 am and 10:30 am taking you to the San Francisco Ferry Building. RSVP Required.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March / Parade

Monday, January 21, 2019 at 11am – Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. join thousands in honoring the 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama marches at the MLK2019 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 21, 2019 | 11 am to 5 pm – 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 21st at 11:45 am – Takes place on the Esplanade Stage at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Main Program – January 21st at 1:30 pm – YBCA Theater
MLK2019 Feature Program – We Are In This Together – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – Theater on the MLK2019 program stage sponsored by AECOM-Parsons Joint Venture.

Music Festival – January 21st at 1 pm – Yerba Buena Gardens
Enjoy an afternoon of live music and poetry on the lawn in Yerba Buena Gardens. Renown artists will highlight the MLK2019 Music Festival on the Esplanade Stage in Yerba Buena Gardens.

2019 Liberation Film Festival
January 21 – 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

  • 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm – Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart
  • 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Black Ink
  • 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm – Backs Against The Wall: The Howard Thurman Story

Health Festival – January 21st – 11 am – 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 MLK2019 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.

2019 Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival – January 21st 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

2019 King & Faith Lectures

January 20 – 21 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 (Likely Cancelled)

Monday, January 21, 2019  – 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, this is likely cancelled due to the government shutdown.

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

Cancelled – MLK “Day of Service” Volunteer in the Park

Monday, January 21, 2019  – 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. Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled.

Black Comix Arts Festival

January 19-21, 2019 

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 19th – San Francisco Public Library (1 pm to 4 pm)
  • Sunday, January 20th -San Francisco Public Library (1 pm to 5 pm)
  • Monday, January 21st – City View at Metreon (11 am to 6 pm)

SF’s Black History Festival

January 18 – February 27, 2019  – Black History Month is an integral part of our nation’s tradition in which we promote affirmative examples of important historical events, honorable leaders and steps towards collective change. Full details.

Grace Cathedral’s Tribute to MLK Jr

Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 3 pm – Join for an Interfaith Evensong, with reflections by local faith leaders, a homily by Dr. Andrea C. White, Union Theological Seminary, and music by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Full details.


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

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