Public Information & Communications
For Release: Jan. 15, 2013
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Public Information & Communications Specialist
The City of Mesa will remember the leadership and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with several celebrations using the theme “Many Faces, One Community.” The events are organized by the Mesa Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and will be held from Friday, Jan. 18 through Martin Luther King (MLK) Day on Monday, Jan. 21.
This year, the MLK candlelight ceremony will be held Friday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. at Mesa High School, 1630 E. Southern Ave. The keynote speaker is Karen Korematsu, co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights. The organization is named for her father, who challenged his internment orders during World War II for 40 years.
The MLK annual dinner will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center, 5750 E. Main St. The keynote speaker is former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.mesamlk.org.
Mesa’s annual MLK Parade is Monday, Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. to noon. The parade will include Mesa Police, Mesa Fire, marching bands and community leaders and organizations. District 4 Councilmember Chris Glover, who represents downtown Mesa, will be the grand marshal. The parade will begin at University Drive and Center Street and proceed south to 1st Avenue. The destaging area will be along Center Street south to 2nd Avenue. At 9:30 a.m., Center Street will close between University Drive and Broadway, 1st Street will close between Macdonald and Centennial and 1st Avenue will close between Macdonald and Sirrine. At 10 a.m., Main Street will close between Country Club Drive and Mesa Drive. All of the streets will reopen by 1 p.m.
The MLK Festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. The free program includes music, dance, food and information on job and volunteer opportunities, health and community outreach programs. There will also be a youth area with games, bounce houses and other activities.
MLK Day will also be commemorated with a volunteer project the City of Mesa’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program is coordinating with Hands on Greater Phoenix. Volunteers will paint the exterior of the home of a retired disabled Air Force veteran.
The City of Mesa will be closed in observance of MLK Day. The closures include libraries and recreation centers. Trash and recycle barrels will be on the normal collection schedule. The Dobson Ranch Golf Course will be open. All bus and light rail routes will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule.
Mesa’s annual MLK celebrations were created after residents, in 1996, voted to establish a citywide holiday recognizing the leadership of Dr. King. For more information on the various MLK celebrations, visit www.mesamlk.org.
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