Weekend Guide: March on Washington 50th Anniversary

In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo shows civil rights demonstrators gather at the Washington Monument grounds before noon, before marching to the Lincoln Memorial, seen in the far background at right, where the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom will end with a speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON – The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington takes place on Aug. 28, but individuals, organizations and venues throughout the D.C. area are honoring the occasion all weekend long — from serious and reflective gatherings, to more festive and family-focused affairs.

Many of the events are free and open to the public. Here are our top picks for the weekend.

Saturday, Aug. 24: The 50th Anniversary March on Washington

The official March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom walk and rally will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial. The rally will then march along Independence Ave. to the Martin Luther King Memorial. Speakers, such as Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King, III, are expected to lead the event, which will end at 4 p.m. Participants are encouraged to take public transportation.

Saturday, Aug. 24: March on Washington 50th Anniversary Family Day

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will host a family day on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The day will include a tour and exhibition of “One Life: Martin Luther King Jr.,” live music, narratives and arts and crafts activities.

Saturday, Aug. 24: Martin Luther King, Jr. Bike Tour

The National Parks Service will lead a bike tour on the National Mall and discuss the city’s ties to the civil rights movement from 2-5 p.m. The tour is free. For more information, visit the website.

Saturday, Aug. 24: Dance the Dream

Dance the Dream is the culminating event of the March on Washington. It will take place from 4-4:45 p.m. at West Potomac Park at Ohio and Independence Drive. The event is part of the ongoing Freedom Festival, also at West Potomac Park, from 3-7 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 25: “I Have a Dream” Gospel Brunch at the Willard

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, delivered 50 years ago, the Willard and the King Center will host a brunch on 11:30 a.m. in the Willard Grand Ballroom. The bunch will feature live music, a silent auction, sparkling wine, Southern food and a dessert bar. Tickets are $132 per person.

Sunday, Aug. 25: “March on Washington: Through the Lens of Rowland Scherman”

Rowland Scherman was the primary photographer of the 1963 March on Washington. This documentary, being screened at the Newseum at 2:30 p.m., explores the images and emotions that took place that day. See a preview of the documentary below.

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