Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Legacy of Service

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

The City of Tacoma’s signature event – the 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration – seeks to build on that message of service and encourages the entire community to join together to celebrate Monday, January 19, 2015 as a day on, not a day off. This year’s theme is 11 Days in the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Honoring His Legacy in 2015.


The event will take place at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (1500 Broadway in Tacoma, WA). It is expected to draw roughly 2,000 - 3,000 adults and children. Doors will open at 10 a.m. and the event will start at 11 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items for the MLK Food Drive benefiting Emergency Food Network.

The event will include a performance of 11 Days in the Life of Dr. King, presented by the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. Eleven Days chronicles Dr. King’s life and legacy through spoken word vignettes, dance, shadow play and historic images. It focuses on Dr. King’s relationship with communities, how he challenged and changed our nation, and his message to honor the dignity and rights of every person. 


Melannie Denise Cunningham will be this year’s keynote speaker. Ms. Cunningham has lived in Tacoma/Pierce County for 42 years, and her career spans several industries including federal, city and state government, non-profit, radio, television, higher education and entrepreneurship. She is a strategic thinker and a person who always brings a fresh perspective and  positive attitude to any situation or environment.


In addition to free holiday on-street parking and free parking at Freighthouse Square (2501 E. D St.), which is easily accessible via LINK light rail from the Convention Center stop located directly in front of the event venue, there will also be signage and personnel directing event attendees to designated complimentary parking stalls that will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (1500 Broadway). 

City Events and Recognition Committee

The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration program is spearheaded by a City Council appointed City Events and Recognition Committee comprised of local community leaders from a broad array of backgrounds and areas of expertise.

The City Events and Recognition Committee serves as an advisory and action committee on matters pertaining to City-hosted events and special recognition programs. Members are responsible for planning, reviewing and evaluating events, engaging the community in its fundraising efforts, and soliciting corporate and private sponsorships to leverage funds for City-hosted events such as the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration.

The Celebration Will Be Televised

The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration is also covered and aired on TV Tacoma, which is carried on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems.

On Click!, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where TV Tacoma can be found on Channel 21.

On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County.

TV Tacoma is not carried on the Comcast system in University Place, but is accessible anywhere on the Internet.
Time and Location

January 19, 2015
11 AM until 1 PM

Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center
1500 Broadway
Tacoma, WA 98402

Map and Directions

Contact Information
Christina Watts
MLK@cityoftacoma.org
(253) 591-5861