WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington has big plans to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and events have already begun. The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee has planned a week’s worth of events to go along with the annual MLK Parade in Downtown.
On Friday, at 6:30 p.m., the annual MLK Jr. Celebration Dinner will be held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. Dr. James Anderson, Chancellor for Fayetteville State University will be the featured speaker at the event.
Family Fun Day kicks off Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the city’s MLK Center, located at 401 South 8th St. Family Fun Day will offer games, face painting, refreshments and more and is free to the public. The event is in partnership with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The main event will take place on Monday with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade starting at 11 a.m.
“The parade will start at the Cape Fear Community College’s Schwartz Center, travel south down N. 3rd Street, east on Princess Street, then north on 4th Street, west on Red Cross Street, north on N. 3rd Street, ending on Brunswick Street. The parade will end at approximately 1 p.m. with streets reopening to traffic by 3 p.m.,” according to the City of Wilmington.
Parade traffic impacts
- Parade will stage in the Cape Fear Community College Schwartz Center parking lot and queue on Brunswick and Hanover streets between N. Front and 3rd streets. Streets in the staging area will close at 8 a.m.
- 3rd Street will close to all traffic at 9 a.m. between Harnett and Market streets.
- Northbound through traffic on N. 3rd Street should use 5th Avenue/6th Street.
- Southbound through traffic on N. 3rd Street should use Front Street or Davis Street to 5th Avenue.
- Front Street will remain open to traffic.
- All streets crossing the parade route will close at 9 a.m.
- The downtown areas west of 3rd Street will be accessible via Market Street and Front Street.
- On-street parking will be free all day, the downtown parking decks will be charging at their regular rate.