How to Marade – or how to avoid traffic on Monday

The decades-old MLK Jr. Day celebration is back!

The 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade, Jan. 21, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade, Jan. 21, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

KEVIN-lighter

Denver’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade – part march, part parade – is back on Monday, Jan. 16. Here’s what you need to know:

Not planning on going? Avoid Civic Center and Colfax after 10:30 a.m. if you’re trying to drive.

The march portion of the day begins at 10:45 a.m. Participants will walk from City Park to Colfax Avenue and head west to Civic Center Park.

Vern Howard, the Marade’s longtime lead organizer, said police will let drivers pass through gaps of marchers on Colfax, but they’ll probably have to wait for that. He also has awards and speeches scheduled at Civic Center Park between noon and 1 p.m. Broadway and Lincoln Street will be closed in the area.

“For the most part, I would tell people to avoid Colfax and to avoid going north on Lincoln and and South on Broadway,” he told us.

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Source: MLK Jr. Marade

Planning on going? Here’s what to expect:

Meet at the MLK Jr. statue in City Park. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. and will feature a keynote speech from Clint Bryant, a leader in intercollegiate athletics who headed the sports program at Georgia’s Augusta University for three decades. Howard said Mayor Michael Hancock and U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper will also be present.

Howard said to bring stuff to donate with you. They’ll be collecting nonperishable food items, old cell phones, baby gear like diapers and formula and hygiene stuff like toothbrushes, soap and lotion for their year-long charity work. Later in the day, organizers and volunteers will give out hot meals in Denver and Aurora, as they’ve done for 38 years. If you want to volunteer with them, or if you want to donate to the Marade effort at large, you can sign up on their website (hit “Marade Participation” if you want to volunteer).

You might want to wear a coat. It might snow on Sunday night, and the high temperature Monday is currently forecasted below 50 degrees.

You might also bring a sign to shout out the issues you’re keyed in on. Howard said he’s heard there will be a lot of people showing up to protest the Supreme Court’s rollback of abortion protections an in support of a national voting rights expansion.

At 10:30 a.m., they’ll lay wreaths by the MLK Jr. Statue, part of the ongoing tradition, then start walking. Things at Civic Center should wrap by 1 p.m.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that U.S. Senator Michael Bennet would be in attendance. 

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