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  • Writer's pictureRaquel Gutierrez

No Charge To Visit VA, DC National Parks On Martin Luther King Jr. Day

VIRGINIA — Places where Martin Luther King and others in the Civil Rights Movement made history are among 400 National Park Service facilities, including those in Virginia, that will waive admission fees on Monday in honor of King’s birthday.

MLK Day, observed every year on the third Monday of January, has been a federal holiday since 1986 and is a day off for many Americans. Facilities in Virginia that are waiving admission include:

DC sites with free admission Jan. 15 include:

MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a day of service. Some of the places with special volunteer opportunities for visitors include the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta; the Selma to Montgomery Historic Trail, which traces the footsteps of King and other civil rights activists in the 1965 Voting Rights March in Alabama; and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Some MLK Day events in Northern Virginia and DC include:

D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade and Peace Walk: Meet at Shepherd Park for a 9 a.m. peace rally before the walk at 11 a.m. Participants will step off at 11 a.m. from the R.I.S.E. Center at 2730 MLK Jr. Ave. SE. Find more details on the website.

The George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria has a program including music, food and a panel of experts discussing King’s enduring legacy and message. The event begins at 4 p.m. Monday. Registration is requested. Here’s more info.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has an original copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the 1963 March on Washington on display at its “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery. The speech, on loan from Villanova University, will be on display through March 4, NBC Washington said. On Monday, the museum will host “The People’s Holiday: The Many Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Other free admission days at national parks in 2024 are:

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