Photo from West Side Grows Together MLK cleanup from last year.

8 ways to mark MLK Day in the First State

Jarek Rutz Culture, Headlines

Photo from West Side Grows Together MLK cleanup from last year.

Photo from West Side Grows Together MLK cleanup from last year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, and Delawareans have numerous ways to commemorate his legacy.

Many will look for ways to give back to the community on their day off, a now-traditional way to honor the Civil Rights activist. 

Lucky for them, the weather will favor them this weekend with clear skis and highs between 40 and 50, with rain forecast for Monday night.

Here are five ways to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the First State:

‘Protecting your DREAM’

Award-winning spoken word artist, educator and Wilmington native Serena Joy will anchor a virtual social emotional learning workshop from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Sponsored by the Delaware Historical Society, the event requires prior registration, which can be done here for the virtual event.

The target audience is 7 to 12 year olds, and each participant is asked to have a balloon and piece of paper on hand. 


MLK Voice 4 Youth

Starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, the Baby Grand, at 818 N. Market Street in Wilmington, will host a spoken word contest for children in seventh through 12th grade from up and down the state.

Hosted by pastor Tim Hurtt, contestants will use King’s message of hope and change to  creatively express their views on current issues and share how King’s legacy speaks to them today.

Seven judges will rank the seven contestants. The winner will receive $2,000 and $250 will go to the junior high school student with the top score. 

The event is free to attend. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, but attendees can reserve a seat by registering here.


IMAC Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council of Delaware is hosting a day of celebration.

It will be held at the New Destiny Fellowship at 906 E 16th Street in Wilmington.

“As we move into the year, 2023, IMAC wants to ensure that we are prepared and energized with a renewed sense of dedication to the work ahead in our communities,” the organization said in a statement.


Delaware Art Museum Day of Service

At 10 a.m. Monday, the Delaware Art Museum will host a day of several service projects.

From 10:40 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants can create a “Share Your Dreams” poster with artist K.O. Simms, and glaze a bowl for Empty Bowls, benefitting the food pantry at St. Stephens Lutheran Church.

The day will feature performances by the Wilmington Children’s Chorus at 10:15 a.m.,  remarks by Andrea McCoy-Carty, Chair of the Judy Johnson Memorial Foundation, and Chandra Pitts of One Village Alliance at 10:30 a.m., and a tour of Black art from 11 a.m. to noon.

Attendees are encouraged to take their poster to the MLK March organized by Westside Grows.


West Side’s clean up, peace march 

For the 11th straight year, West Side Grows Together will host its annual clean up, peace march and celebration Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Attendees are asked to arrive at the new MSK Community Center at 1009 Sycamore Street in the morning to help collect trash and clean up the streets of Wilmington. 

At noon, the group will lead an hour-long peace march through the city. 

At 1 p.m. the nonprofit I Am My Sister’s Keeper will open their new MSK Community Center to the public with a ribbon cutting featuring several speakers.

The last event of the day is an hour-and-a-half celebration that starts at 1:30 p.m., back at the community center with free food, drinks, family activities and entertainment courtesy of the Delaware Music Network.

Musical performances will feature local talent G Dash Jones, Young Seda, Latoya Marie, La’Shawn Janell, Jea Street Jr.and Diary of Dance.

Masks are encouraged but not required. 

To register, click here.


Delta Stigma Theta MLK, Jr. Day of Service

From 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Delta Stigma Theta, a historically Black sorority, will need help stocking three community fridges.

To donate food, visit any of these three locations, where sorority members will be:


‘Who we Are’ screening

Wilmington’s First Unitarian Church will show “Who we Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” written by Jeffery Robinson, the former ACLU deputy legal director.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Monday for the free movie, pizza and drinks, with the film rolling at 6:30 p.m.

Registration is required. Click here to register.


City of Milford’s MLK Service Day

From noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Milford’s Calvary Church at 301 SE Front Street will sponsor a day of service.

A joint choir will perform, with an as-yet-unannounced guest speaker talking about hope in challenging times.

The event is open to the public and is free. Any donations made during the event will go towards a student scholarship for college. 

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