MLK Day celebrations, community events still going despite rain

The artist, Robert Jackson, says MLK Day is a day to bring awareness to African-American history and he tries to accompish that through his art.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 10:04 AM MST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 9:23 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s a rainy Monday, but that hasn’t stopped many people across the Valley from giving back to their community on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Typically, Hance Park plays host to MLK Day celebrations annually, but due to the rain, the celebration has moved to the park’s plaza area instead. The march began at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church at 9 a.m. and the festival will be at the park from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.! Kylee Cruz joined Good Morning, Arizona to show what celebrations are underway at St. Vincent de Paul’s food kitchens in Phoenix.

The organization serves 4,000 to 5,000 people every day. Volunteers were split amongst food preparations to serving and other roles behind the scenes! “Our volunteers come in, know what they’re doing, and know why they’re here -- to help people,” said Chris Hoffman, head chef at St. Vincent de Paul. “It’s just incredible, and we really need the volunteers.”

Despite the rain, many in the community are giving back on MLK Day in Phoenix.

In Mesa, the 25th anniversary of the annual MLK Day celebration is already underway. Mayor John Giles spoke with Kylee Cruz about the events and said, “We take very seriously celebrating diversity and reminding people how important inclusive is in our community.”

The Mesa Arts Center is kicking off a street naming, the parade, and a post-parade celebration that will happen downtown in Mesa. Keisha McKinnor, president of the Mesa-East Valley MLK Committee, said she hopes the little amount of rain won’t slow participation. “This is the only (MLK) parade in the entire state of Arizona,” she said. “The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on MLK Way and our new MLK, Jr. Street which is Center Street will come up Center Street to 1st Street and east to Hibbard.”

Despite the rain, celebrations for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day are still well underway in the Valley.