January 12, 2017 Atlanta: Alvin Sims (left) and Brandi Chapel (right) were part of a group from WOW In-Sync that visited the cryptÊof Dr. and Mrs. King, Eternal Flame, Freedom Walkway and Reflecting Pool Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 at the King Center at 449 Auburn Ave NE, in Atlanta. Visitors to civil rights destination sites and programs in Atlanta are on the increase before the federal holiday. In Atlanta, the birthplace of the civil rights activist, there are numerous ways to acknowledge the upcoming federal holiday. Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King once served as co-pastor, will once again memorialize its most famous member during an annual celebration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative service, coming just days before Donald TrumpÕs inauguration, will feature Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, to deliver a Òspecial tributeÓ at MondayÕs Ebenezer Baptist Church ceremony.ÊElsewhere, Atlanta museums will host family-friendly educational programs, and counties throughout metro Atlanta will host local parades and programs. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM

Celebrate MLK Day: 5 things to do this week in Atlanta

Don’t waste your day off on Monday!

Utilize the federal holiday to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. by attending programing at a local museum or attraction. 
Later in the week, check out a new musical at the Alliance Theatre or revisit a classic Debbie Reynolds film at Plaza Theatre. 

Here are five things to do around metro Atlanta this weekend:

National Parks 

Visit any National Park Service site on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for free. 

If you’re looking for a National Park site where you can learn more about the legacy of King, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in downtown Atlanta features the home, church and grave of the civil rights activist. 

While tourists can view the outside and first floor of King’s birth home, the upper floors will remain closed and under repair. Officials with the National Park Service cited “structural damage” for the closing. 


9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave., Atlanta. nps.gov. 

Ebenezer Baptist Church Commemorative Service 

The commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Jan. 16 remains a MLK Day staple. The service, designed to honor the life, work and legacy of King, will feature a keynote address from Father Michael Pfleger and a tribute from Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

Darlene McCoy, minister Micah Stampley, the Craig Lewis Band, Freddie and Teddie and the Korean Christian Children’s Choir are among the performers who will participate in the program. 

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. Ebenezer Baptist Church, 101 Jackson St., Atlanta. nps.gov. 

Atlanta History Center 

Entry into the Atlanta History Center and Margaret Mitchell House is free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Visit Atlanta History Center and tour its many exhibits, including “Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta,” before featured speaker and author of “Go South to Freedom” Frye Gaillard talks about his book, which is geared toward middle-school kids, at 3 p.m. The event will also include a book signing. 

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. Atlantahistorycenter.com. 


Country music fans will love this musical with original music by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush. In the production, country music singer Billy Mason’s son, Joe, works to create a name for himself in the shadow of his father’s legacy.

Times vary. Jan. 18-Feb. 12. $10-$72. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. Alliancetheatre.org

“Tammy and the Bachelor”

Debbie Reynolds fans looking to remember the Hollywood actress by seeing her work in a theater should head to the Plaza Theatre this week for a screening of “Tammy and the Bachelor.” Reynolds was pregnant with the late Carrie Fisher during the filming of the movie.

Times vary. Through Jan. 19. $10. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. Plazaatlanta.com.

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