We all have been celebrating Martin Luther King Day for a while now, and most of us enjoy that extra day off work. But did you realize that MLK Day is actually a day of service, not just another federal holiday? It’s true. In 1994, President Clinton signed legislation changing the holiday into a day of volunteer service. So, why not change things up on your vacation here in Bend, and celebrate MLK Day a little differently?
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The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
First, here are just a few interesting facts about the man himself. His birth name was Michael, not Martin. After a trip to Germany in 1934, his father changed both his name and his son’s name to Martin to honor Martin Luther. He entered Morehouse College when he was only fifteen, and he was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at age 35.
King’s birthday is actually January 15th, (1929), although the federal holiday, (the third Monday in January), can be celebrated anywhere from January 15th to the 21st. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the only other Americans with federal holidays commemorating their birthdays, and MLK Day was the first federal holiday honoring an African American.
His assassination in Memphis in 1968 wasn’t the first time someone tried to kill him. In 1958, he (barely) survived a knife attack from a mentally ill woman while he was signing books in a Harlem department store. King’s mother Alberta was also killed by a bullet. In 1974, a gunman who was there to kill King’s father, shot his mother instead while she was playing the organ at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Celebrating MLK Day in Bend
Everyone loves a parade. If the annual Bend MLK Day parade/march is on, take the kids downtown for the festivities. Or, if the pandemic is still causing havoc in our lives, join in a virtual march or have your own parade. Head outdoors to march or stay inside. Either way, it’ll be an interesting way to enjoy the holiday. Luckily, your vacation rental has an open floor plan with lots of space for marching kids.
If you head outdoors, remember that MLK Day is a fee-free day at national parks, wildlife refuges and the like. Grab a picnic lunch, have a hike (or march) and enjoy no parking or entry fees. Deschutes National Forest, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument are just two suggestions to try.
Should you decide to stay comfortably in your rental for the holiday, you can still enjoy MLK Day festivities. Just settle everyone down in front of the large flat screen in your living room and livestream a parade from anywhere across the country. Or get serious and stream one of Dr. King’s speeches or sermons. Introduce your kids to this American spokesman, and the “I Have a Dream” or “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” speeches.
Don’t forget to stock up ahead of time on lots of snacks and locally brewed ales (stop by the Deschutes Brewing Co.) to enjoy while you’re watching the parade or one of the other events. Our vacation rentals come with equipped kitchens and many have grills out on the back deck where you can show off your grilling chops. Or, make it easy on yourself and just order some mouthwatering BBQ and all the sides from Baldy’s BBQ, The Pickled Pig BBQ & Café, or South yo Mouth.
Celebrating in Ways to Honor King’s Legacy
Dr. King believed that one person could change the world, and that each of us has that power. So on this day of service, why not make a little change? Contact a local homeless shelter and make a donation, or talk to a local veteran’s organization about providing lunch for the vets. Or, coordinate with a local service group or church and join in a service project. It doesn’t take much to change someone’s life.
MLK Day Vacation Rentals in Bend
Our Bend Oregon rental properties are located throughout the area so you can select a rental close to the things you love to do, and with the view you’ve come to Bend for. We have vacation rentals nestled in among the trees, perched on mountain slopes (ski-in/ski-out!), or on the edge of historic downtown Bend. Choose from cute, cozy cabins, alpine-style mountain chalets and more.
Each of our rental properties Bend Oregon offers amenities you’ve come to expect, like fully equipped kitchens with coffee makers, washer/dryers, and indoor fire places. All have free Wi-Fi and cable TV, and some vacation homes feature satellite TV, ping pong tables and Game Rooms. Many offer extras like private hot tubs too.
If you’re still not sure how to spend MLK Day or want to find a service project, just give us a call. We’re here to help you make this the best MLK Day yet.