Some of us look at it as an extra day off in the wake of those wearying holidays. But for many folks, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to celebrate community. As always, there are numerous ways to join others for that purpose, but the most time-honored must be the Marade, an annual march from City Park to Civic Center that's attended by civic leaders and bookended by special invocations, presentations and a good helping of gospel music. To participate this year, gather at the King statue near the Museum of Natural History, in City Park, at 9 a.m. for a 10 a.m. stepoff; for information, call the Urban League of Denver, 303-388-5861. A bus to the parade also leaves the Iliff School of Theology, 2201 S. University Blvd., at 8:30 a.m.; call 303-765-3191 for details.
Looking for other ways to participate? The Neighborhood Resource Center of Metro Denver is working with neighborhoods to encourage MLK Day Peace Dinners by distributing Peace Dinner Packs containing block-organizing tips, neighborhood grant applications, the text of King's "I Have a Dream" speech and more, available in Spanish and English. To obtain a kit, call 303-561-2215. And it's probably not too late to volunteer for the Dinner for Those Who Hunger, a King commemoration sponsored annually by Volunteers of America. Coats and winter clothing will be handed out and more than 1,500 meals served to the tune of live jazz and gospel music at Sunset Park, 1865 Larimer St., from 3 to 6 p.m.; for information call 303-297-0408 or log on to www.voacolorado.org.
He's from Colorado and he's a winner: Author Stephen White has the detective/thriller genre sewn up in his pocket wherever books are sold. But for us here in the metro area, his mysteries are especially fun to read because they're set in these parts and star Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory. In White's latest, Manner of Death, the investigating gets personal for Gregory but also touches on the D.B. Cooper paradox, musing on what happened to that guy loaded down with loot who parachuted out of a plane years ago and disappeared. White drops by the Rue Morgue Mystery Bookshop, 946 Pearl St. in Boulder, tonight at 7 to talk and sign; call 303-443-8346.
DU's Lamont School of Music boasts an artist-heavy faculty that rarely gets its due. Tonight a whole host of the unsung get together to examine the work of another underestimated group--contemporary composers including Lutoslawski, Messaien, Copland and Stravinsky. A who's-who of solo and ensemble performers present 20th Century Music at 7:30 p.m. at the Houston Fine Arts Center, 7111 Montview Blvd. Admission is $7 in advance ($8 day of concert); call 303-871-6412.