MLK Day: Events in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Hundreds of people traditionally flock to downtown Phoenix for the annual march honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream of a nation in which people are judged "by the content of their character."

Monday morning's event, which got under way at 9 a.m., took marchers from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church at 14th and Jefferson streets to Margaret T. Hance Park.

Some 500 people took park in last year's march. About the same number was expected this year.

A festival at the park will feature a variety of local artists reciting the King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. There also will be singing, poetry, dance performances, guest speakers, a health fair, kids' activities, and arts and crafts.

In honor of King and his legacy, dozens of Allstate employees and agency owners teamed up with HandsOn Greater Phoenix for the 5th Annual Give Back Day, spending their morning cleaning up litter and graffiti near Phoenix's Central Park.

Mesa's parade honoring King gets under way at 11 a.m. It will be followed by a festival noon-5 p.m. at Mesa Arts Center.

In addition, Arizona State University is hosting a day of service with projects at three locations.

King, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis. He was 39 years old.

Video: "I Have a Dream" speech (Aug. 28, 1963)