Valley marks MLK Day with community events

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a march and festival in downtown Phoenix is commemorating his life and legacy.

Marchers gathered at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church at Jefferson and 15th streets Monday morning and then at 9 a.m. they started winding their way through downtown Phoenix.

It was a beautiful day to hit the streets and honor a man who has done so much for civil rights in America.

For many people, like Ron Skelton and his wife, participating is an annual event.

"It's a very important day for us," Skelton said. "We like to march every year for our civil rights, for Martin Luther King and all he has done for America, and for all the people in all different races. So we're just excited to be able to do this for our civil rights, America and people in the city."

"It was so great to see all the people -- black, white, brown -- and kids, everybody together and enjoying the beautiful day," said Claude Culbertson, who participated in the march.

They eventually ended up at Margaret T. Hance Park at Moreland and Third streets for the MLK Festival, which will last until 4 p.m.

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the famous march on Washington, D.C.

A parade and festival in Mesa is also honoring the civil rights leader.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. at University Drive and Center Street then will proceed south to First Avenue to the Mesa Arts Center where a family-friendly festival will be held until 4 p.m.
   
The parade will include the Mesa Police Department, Mesa Fire Department, marching bands, and community leaders and organizations.