Jan. 13, 2014
Public Information & Communications
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Mesa, AZ – The City of Mesa will remember the leadership and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with several celebrations, including a street sign unveiling, 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 Saturday, Jan. 18 through Martin Luther King (MLK) Day on Monday, Jan. 20.
The celebration begins with the MLK annual dinner Saturday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel, 200 N. Centennial Way. The keynote speaker is former Arizona Representative Art Hamilton. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:45 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.mesamlk.org
A special event will occur Monday, Jan. 20 at 10:45 a.m. prior to Mesa’s annual MLK Parade. A dedication ceremony and street sign unveiling will take place for Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, District 4 Councilmember Chris Glover, and MLK Committee Chairperson Dr. Cliff Moon will speak at the event. Mesa City Council approved a resolution changing the name of 3rd Place between Center Street and Centennial Way to Martin Luther King Jr. Way at its Dec. 2, 2013 meeting.
The MLK Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. The parade will include Mesa Police, Mesa Fire, marching bands and community leaders and organizations. Former Arizona Representative Art Hamilton 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 Way, 1st Avenue will close between Macdonald and Sirrine and 2nd Avenue will close between Center Street 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 4 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. The free program includes music; dance; food; an MLK creative writing, arts and oratory contest; an Interfaith Candlelight and Prayer Service at 1 p.m.; a credit building seminar 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.
The City of Mesa is coordinating with HandsOn Greater Phoenix for a community service project that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and show appreciation for the sacrifice of our military personnel. Volunteers will paint the exterior of the home of an elderly Air Force veteran Saturday, Jan. 18 and Monday, Jan. 20.
The City of Mesa will be closed Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of MLK Day. The closures include libraries and recreation centers. Trash and recycle service will be on the normal collection schedule but residents should have barrels on the curb by 6 a.m. 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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