Phyllis Montgomery, left, and Irma Jeanisse carry a flag from the local Black Chamber of Commerce during the 30th annual Martin Luther King March.

Last year, Erica Hardwick marched for the first time in the Martin Luther King, Jr. March to Reid Park. 

The honks and shouts of encouragement from passing cars surprised her. This was the first time she had marched in anything. 

"It just made me feel a sense of togetherness," said Hardwick, the director of enforcement for the Southwest Fair Housing Council, which will march with a banner for the second time this year. 

Donna Liggins has been an key organizer of Tucson's MLK march for about 30 years, and while it's a day of fun, she wants people to remember the reason for the march. 

"This man died for equality," she said of King. "And we still march because equality is not quite where it should be. So we still have to march. Some things have changed, but not everything has changed." 

And so hundreds of people will rise early on Monday to walk between ML King Jr. Way at Kino Parkway and Reid Park. The Freedom March begins at 8 a.m. and is followed by a celebration with entertainment and food vendors 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit for more information. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. "was all about togetherness, about all people coming together," Liggins said. "We have all kinds of people who march and walk for that. It's about equality, and he wanted everyone to have equality and a decent life." 

If you can't make the march, here are three other thoughtful things you can do on MLK Day. All of them are free.

Take in the arts

What: Multiple University of Arizona departments, UA Presents and local arts organizations have organized a free production of dance, poetry and music to honor the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. The program is called "Beyond Tucson: A Time To Break Silence."

When: Sunday, Jan. 14, 3-5 p.m.  

Were: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 

Cost: Free

More info: Visit for more information 

Watch "Hidden Figures"

What: The Loft Cinema will show the Oscar-nominated film "Hidden Figures" for free on MLK Day. The film tells the stories of African American women employed as mathematicians by NASA in the 1960s. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson played integral roles in the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The Loft has posted in its Facebook events that a large crowd is expected, so getting there early would be a good idea. 

When: 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. 

Where: The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway

Cost: Free

More info: You can find the events at the Loft Jr.'s Facebook page

Explore downtown and listen to jazz

What: Head to the Downtown Jazz Fiesta where almost a dozen bands will perform on stages around downtown. You can find the main stages on or around Fifth Avenue between Toole Avenue and Broadway. (Or ride the streetcar, starting at Mercado San Agustín, between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and listen to several musicians live during your ride). 

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Where: Downtown Tucson

Cost: Free