Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington D.C.
(Via Wes Candela / Rutgers)
Civic Life

What’s happening for MLK Weekend? A rundown of what’s open, closed and how to celebrate

A rundown of the different events and volunteer happenings in Santa Cruz County over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. The NAACP Santa Cruz will put on an outdoor gathering in lieu of a march on Saturday.

A number of events are in the works around Santa Cruz County this coming long weekend to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, leading off Saturday at the Resource Center for Nonviolence on Ocean Street.

That outdoor gathering organized by the NAACP Santa Cruz — in lieu of a march — runs from noon to 4 p.m. and will feature speakers, performances, music and more. Masks are mandatory, and social distancing will be observed. Find more information here.

On Monday, the day the MLK holiday is observed and with schools, government offices and many businesses closed, many community organizations will honor King with a day of service. Here’s a rundown:

Homeless Garden Project farm: Community members are invited to help get the Homeless Garden Project’s farm, on Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue on the Westside, ready for spring planting between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided, and there will be a guest speaker. More information here.

Evergreen Cemetery: Connect with local history at one of the oldest cemeteries in California with a cleanup event between 10 a.m. and noon in this event organized by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. More information here.

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Main Beach: The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County will provide all the supplies you need to clean up one of the county’s busiest attractions. Individuals and groups are welcome for the event that runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with check-in next to Ideal Bar and Grill at 106 Beach St. More information here.

DeLaveaga Park: An event for students of all ages led by the Santa Cruz Mountain Trail Stewardship will lead students of all ages doing maintenance on trails throughout the park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coffee and snacks are provided, and there’s a raffle, too. Meet at 855 Branciforte Creek Dr. Get more information and sign up here.

Virtual: The Santa Cruz Bible Church hosts a Zoom panel discussion from 7-8:30 p.m. on critical race theory as part of its Civil Conversations series. Get more information and sign up here.

Ongoing events


  • The MAH is collecting entries for a community journal in celebration of MLK Day, encouraging Santa Cruzans to share their dreams big and small through February. They will be compiled and displayed March 3-6 as a close to Black History Month. More information here.
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards for community members in need of some good cheer, to be collected by the Volunteer Center by Feb. 9 and distributed to residents in assisted living facilities. More information here.
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Open and closed

  • Santa Cruz County offices are closed.
  • Santa Cruz: City offices are closed
  • Capitola: City offices are closed
  • Scotts Valley: City offices are closed
  • Watsonville: City offices are closed
  • Libraries: Closed
  • Schools: All public and private schools are closed
  • USPS: No postal delivery, offices closed
  • Santa Cruz Metro: Weekend schedule