Save the Date for Martin Luther King Parade and Festival


25th anniversary celebration includes honorary street dedication

Mesa, AZ – The City of Mesa and the Mesa-East Valley MLK Committee invite the community to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy on Monday, Jan. 16.

This year’s 25th-anniversary celebration theme is “What Are You Doing For Others?” The festivities in downtown Mesa include a parade, starting at 11 a.m., of community groups and organizations, businesses, churches, marching bands and east valley cities. The MLK Community Festival from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Plaza at Mesa City Center, 56 E. Main St. offers food, vendors, entertainment and a Kids Unity Corner with activities and crafts.

As part of the 25th anniversary, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street will be dedicated during a ceremony that day at 8:30 a.m. at the Mesa Arts Center. The honorary street signs will be placed along Center Street between Brown Road and First Avenue to honor Mesa’s historic Washington-Escobedo Heritage Neighborhood, which had its roots during a time of segregation in the early 20th century. The signs will also celebrate Dr. King’s accomplishments as a civil rights icon. Similar Calle Cesar Chavez street signs were unveiled recently along a one-mile segment of Broadway Road between Mesa Drive and Stapley Drive to honor Cesar Chavez’s contributions to Mesa’s thriving Hispanic population.

Organizers of the parade are currently recruiting volunteers to participate in the parade. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. The deadline to register is Jan. 10.

Mesa’s annual MLK celebrations were created after residents, in 1996, voted to establish a citywide holiday recognizing the leadership of Dr. King.