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Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival and Parade: Honor MLK in San Francisco in 2022

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: January 13, 2022

Every year, the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation puts on a week-long festival to celebrate the life and work of MLK. It features a parade, film festival, arts festival, health & wellness festival, and more.

This year's event runs from Monday, January 10 - Monday, January 17. The majority of the events will be on the day of the holiday on Monday, January 17, but you will also find a handful of events on the days prior.

Note: Many events have been postponed until 2023 including the annual March|Parade. See updates below.

2022 Schedule of Events

These are the events planned for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

King & Faith Symposium and Events - Moved to Virtual

Dates: 1/16 at 4pm, register online

This is now just on 1/16 at 4pm. This important discussion will be about Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and will discuss where we go from here. 

It will include four panelists.

It will be held online only.

Liberation Film Festival

Dates: 1/15

This year's Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival also includes the Liberation Film Festival starting at 12 pm. It features both short-format cinema and human interest documentaries aimed at reaching new and diverse audiences.

The film screenings are free and open to the public. They will take place at the Yerba Buena Center Theater and Screening Room, and the Freedom Theater at the Museum of the African Diaspora.

Events Only on Monday, January 17

Health & Wellness Festival

Note: The Health and Wellness Festival will go ahead. The event is outdoors, so will go on as scheduled.

The one-day Health and Wellness Festival offers free screenings, activities, and other free services by local providers, including the American Red Cross, the San Francisco chapter of The Links, Incorporated, SFEnvironment, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation BBE program, and more.

Here you'll learn more about ways to improve your health, from exercise to nutrition. It runs from 11 am to 5 pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts gardens, which is outdoors.

Labor and Community Breakfast - Postponed to 2023

The 2022 Labor and Community Breakfast will be held on January 17 from 8am to 10am at the Marriott Marquis. In addition to breakfast, you get the chance to hear from San Francisco's labor unions, as well as political, civic, and community leaders.

Parade/March - Postponed to 2023

The largest event this weekend is the parade/march. It will be on Monday, January 17 at 11am.

This 1.5-mile march starts at SF's Caltrain Station (4th and King) and crosses over the Lefty O'Doul Bridge near Oracle Park. It then stops in the Willie Mays Plaza to commemorate the Edmunds Pettus Bridge crossing of the famous Selma-to-Montgomery, Alabama march, a symbol of violence and victory during the civil rights era.

After stopping for a few minutes, the march will continue north to the Yerba Buena Gardens.

Music Festival - Postponted to 2023

The Music Festival is an afternoon of music and poetry on the lawn in the Yerba Buena Gardens. It runs from 1 pm to 3:30 pm.

Admission is free and no registration or tickets are required.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Best Places to Stay in San Francisco

To attend this festival, I recommend staying in either San Francisco's Union Square or Downtown Districts. Both are close to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival and Parade activities. The options in these areas vary from two-star budget-friendly hotels to luxury five-star hotels. Click the links below for my recommendations in both districts.

You can also find some great deals on TripAdvisor. They offer discounts such as 10% off your room rate, free parking, and free wifi. You will find these discounts at hotels all over the city. Click here to check out the special offers this weekend in San Francisco.

Other Fun Events this Month in SF

SF Sketchfest: One of the largest comedy festivals in the area offers several avows this weekend, too. SF Sketchfest features top comedians from around the US and includes everything from skits to solo stand-up performances. Click here for this year's schedule.

Anniversary of the Sea Lions Arrival at Pier 39: One of the most popular attractions in San Francisco these days is the sea lions on Pier 39. These loud and lovable animals live on several platforms next to the pier. Stop by this weekend to celebration their arrival more than 25 years ago. Click here for details.

SF Museum Exhibits: Every month, San Francisco museums house some of the best traveling exhibits in the world. Click here for the full January calendar.

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