As the holiday hangover begins to dissipate and we start to focus in on what 2023 has to bring, we are approaching our first holiday. Sure, it’s a day off for most but its really so much more. Especially in New York City! The holiday we are talking about of course is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most active voices in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. He campaigned against racial segregation and worked to bring about racial equality before he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. To commemorate his life and legacy, including his iconic “I have a dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established on the Monday that falls near King’s January 15th birthday. That is Monday.

A tireless advocate for nonviolence and the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, King’s work lives on through this day. To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. In New York City, schools and federal buildings are closed, while commemorative events are held all weekend long.

This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Monday, January 16th. One great way to mark the holiday is with a gospel performance at Sony Hall. The Harlem Gospel Choir is the most renowned gospel choir in America. You can see them live for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Matinee on Monday, January 16th. Expect a concert full of “sounds that are unfettered, joyous, and inspirational.”

Another way to experience the day is to enjoy a reading from the book of John (and Paul, George, and Ringo) by Strawberry Fields on Sunday mornings at City Winery. On Sunday, January 15th, catch the Strawberry Fields Brunch: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Welcome APAP Conference.

While we’re able to recommend a couple ways to celebrate, we challenge you to find all the ways you can to commemorate this great leader. Remember, you’re off for a reason!