Arts & Culture

Best Ways To Experience The Presidential Inauguration In Charlotte

January 7, 2013 6:00 AM

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Barack Obama (Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Barack Obama (Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Barack Obama (Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Barack Obama (Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This year’s Presidential Inauguration Jan. 21 coincides with the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. Some citizens will be heading to Washington to attend the inauguration. Others will remain in Charlotte, celebrating President Barack Obama’s second term in office with a day of service, tolerance or observance. No matter how you voted, this historic day promises to be one to celebrate.

Charlotte’s Obama Presidential Inauguration Bus Trip
(704) 532-6403

Price:  $465 (single occupancy) to $275 (four people sharing a room)
Hours: Jan. 19 – 3 a.m. to Jan. 21  – 11:30 p.m.

This bus trip, sponsored by the Martin Luther King Committees throughout North Carolina, leaves Charlotte early Saturday morning for the journey to Washington. The price includes two nights of accommodations and some meals. On Saturday and Sunday, the group tours Washington, D.C. landmarks, including the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall, the African American Civil War Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art, and the Lincoln Memorial. On Monday, shuttle service is provided to the Presidential Swearing In Ceremony at noon, followed by the Presidential Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue, before returning to Charlotte.

Habitat for Humanity Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
(704) 716-7077

Price: free
Hours: Jan. 18 to Jan. 21

Volunteers working with Charlotte Habitat for Humanity will participate in a variety of projects during the MLK weekend. Three new Habitat homes are scheduled as well as several critical home repair and rehab projects. Volunteers are also needed at Habitat’s metal recycling center, and at the two ReStores operated by Habitat in Charlotte at Wendover Road and Wilkinson Boulevard. This is a great opportunity to meet other activists in the community and celebrate Obama’s commitment to rebuilding American prosperity.

Related:  Best Holiday Volunteer Opportunities for the Family in Charlotte

gantt center credit renee wright Best Ways To Experience The Presidential Inauguration In Charlotte

(photo credit: Renee Wright)

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture MLK Day 2013
551 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 547-3700

Price: Exhibition $5
Hours: Jan. 21 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Named for Harvey Gantt, Charlotte’s first black mayor, the Gantt Center throws open its doors for MLK Day, offering a multi-media program of films and speakers.  Presently on view is “America I AM: The African American Imprint,” a unique exhibit containing artifacts detailing 500 years of African American contributions to society, which has been extended until March.

Related: Best Museum Exhibits to See this Fall in Charlotte

lunch counter sit in levine museum credit renee wright Best Ways To Experience The Presidential Inauguration In Charlotte

(photo credit: Renee Wright)

Levine Museum of the New South Community Days
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 333-1887

Price: free
Hours: Jan. 20 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Jan. 21 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Levine Museum of the New South, showcasing local history from 1865 through the present, welcomes the community to two free days of celebration in honor of the presidential inauguration and the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Programs and performances for all ages focus on the themes of courage, justice, equality and integrity. The museum will also open its new exhibit, “Fighting For Democracy,” which explores civil rights and liberty through the stories of seven Americans whose lives were changed by World War II.

MLK Jr. Prayer Breakfast
Charlotte Convention Center Crown Ballroom
400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 716-6520

Price: $45
Hours: Jan. 21 – 8 a.m.

The annual community breakfast celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and offers prayers for Obama’s second term in office. The keynote speaker this year is Chef Jeff Henderson, who shares the inspiring story of his journey from prison inmate to award-winning chef and author of a best seller. Other events during the breakfast include the presentation of the MLK Spirit Award, announcements of scholarships to the winners of the Martin Luther King Art and Essay Writing contests, and the introduction of the City of Charlotte’s 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Medallion winner. The breakfast, strongly supported by the city’s business community, funds the Y Achievers program at the McCrorey Family YMCA, providing teens with opportunities to develop leadership and academic skills.

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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