2024 Martin Luther King Day Best Southwest Event Roundup

MLK Lancaster parade poster

LANCASTER – Several Best Southwest cities will host MLK Day community celebrations.

The City of Lancaster is inviting the community to its event to celebrate the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., complete with the annual MLK Parade and Band Showcase. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13, and is a free event.
The MLK Parade and Band Showcase have become hallmark celebrations, historically drawing over 6,000 enthusiastic spectators to Lancaster. The festivities will feature performances from middle and high school bands, cheerleaders, dance teams, and some of the most distinguished Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The parade will commence promptly at 11 a.m. from the Historic Town Square, traveling north on Dallas Avenue and concluding at Lancaster High School. Access to the Town Square or Dallas Avenue will be limited during the parade. Standard traffic patterns will resume upon the completion of the parade.

The highly anticipated Marching Band Showcase will unfold at the Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium following the parade. This showcase promises an electrifying display of talent and unity, bringing together communities from near and far to celebrate the enduring principles espoused by Dr. King.

“The City of Lancaster extends a warm invitation to residents, families, and friends to join in this day of reflection, celebration, and community engagement, Keaira English, Lancaster’s Public Relations Manager, said.

Who:               The City of Lancaster

What:             Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Marching Band Showcase

When:             Saturday, January 13, 2024

The parade begins at 11 a.m.

Where:             Historic Town Square

Lancaster, TX


In Cedar Hill, The Zula B. Wylie Library will host its MLK Day Community Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. at the Cedar Hill Government Center.

The event is free, and the keynote address for the evening will be Elliott Jones, grandson of the late Dr. Maya Angelou and a prominent figure in civil rights advocacy and community development.

Jones is a public speaker, philanthropist, community organizer, ally, and leader of the City of Oakland’s Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO) Program. His commitment to embracing the legacy of his grandmother, Dr. Maya Angelou, a civil rights icon, has led him to dedicate his life to improving communities and pursuing social justice.

A Cedar Hill spokesperson said The MLK Day Community Celebration promises to be an evening of inspiration and reflection, with Jones sharing a unique perspective on civil rights, community development, and the ongoing pursuit of equality.

Jones originally hails from Oakland, California, before moving to Queens, NY, where he enrolled at St. John’s University and graduated in 2008.

A press release said, “His passion for politics and the impact of policies on people’s lives was ignited during his time working for New York’s esteemed politician, William “Bill” Lynch, Jr., after graduation. In the subsequent decade, Jones played a pivotal role in community development in Miami, focusing on projects in the Liberty City, Little Haiti, and Overtown neighborhoods, emphasizing resident empowerment and historic preservation.”

MLK Day graphic

Who:               Zula B. Wylie Public Library and City of Cedar Hill

What:             MLK Day Community Celebration: An Evening with Elliot Jones

When:             Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 6 p.m.

Where:             Cedar Hill Government Center

285 Uptown Blvd.

Cedar Hill, TX


The City of Midlothian is not hosting an MLK event. However, a Midlo MLK movie night on Friday, Jan. 12, will feature “Selma,” the chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s epic march for voting rights at One Church in Midlothian.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, One Church is offering a free showing of the movie Selma, which chronicles the late civil rights leader’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

There will also be a Day of Service Saturday, Jan.13 at 9 a.m. at One Church, a Day of Remembrance Sunday, Jan.14 at 6 p.m. at FBC Midlo, and a Unity March Monday, Jan.15 at 10 a.m. at Midlo Sports Complex.


Who:               One Church

What:             Midlo MLK Day Movie Night showing “Selma”

When:             Friday, January 12, 2024 at 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where:             One Church

6060 FM 1387

Midlothian, TX


The City of DeSoto will be celebrating Dr. King’s life on the evening of Friday, Jan. 12, along with the DeSoto ISD community at DeSoto High School’s Fred Nichols Auditorium.

flyer for MLK performance DeSoto

This event will begin at 6 p.m. announcing the student winners of the City of DeSoto’s Art & Essay Writing Contest, which focuses on Dr. King. At 7 p.m., the Dallas Black Dance Theater will perform in the same Auditorium. Tickets to the performance by the Dallas Black Dance Theater are available online from Eventbrite at



Who:               DeSoto ISD and City of DeSoto

What:             City of DeSoto’s Art & Essay Writing Contest winner announcement and                              Dallas Black Dance Theater performance

When:             Friday, January 12, 2024 at 6 p.m.

Where:            DeSoto High School’s Fred Nichols Auditorium

600 Eagle Drive DeSoto, TX