The East Valley will feature more than a dozen ways to celebrate the leadership, legacy and vision of Martin Luther King Jr.
King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be the impetus for many of the events around Monday's federal holiday.
"Many Faces, One Community" is the theme of several Mesa celebrations that will honor King's life. The annual MLK celebrations in Mesa were created after residents voted to establish a citywide holiday in 1996 recognizing King's leadership.
The town of Gilbert in the past has held a breakfast in his honor. This time the town is sponsoring an evening celebration so parents and the community can get involved, said town spokesman Garin Groff.
"Music Unites Us" is Chandler's theme for the various events planned in the city to celebrate King's message. It's the 10th anniversary of the city's luncheon, said Leah Powell, Chandler's diversity administrator.
Here's how you can celebrate King's legacy in the East Valley:
"Face Tolerance" mask display by students at Chandler's Bright Beginnings Elementary School, on display through Jan. 24, Vision Gallery, 80 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler. Information: (480) 917-6859.
Candlelight Ceremony, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Cornerstone Christian Church, 4410 E. University Drive, Mesa. Information: (480) 218-5951.
Celebration of Unity Luncheon, noon Friday, Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort, 1 San Marcos Place, Chandler. This 10th annual celebration will have speakers on subjects relating to diversity, tolerance, unity and respect. $35 tickets available at the Chandler Center for the Arts box office or at the event. Information: (480) 782-2680.
American Soul & Rock & Roll Choir, 8 p.m. Friday, Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. A choir performance of classic rock, folk, gospel, soul-fusion style. Country artist Ty Herndon is performing with the choir. Tickets are $28-$38. Information: (480) 782-2680.
Around the World in Downtown Chandler, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, downtown Chandler businesses at Arizona Avenue south of Chandler Boulevard. Businesses will display different countries' flags and offer food and activities based on their country. Information: (480) 855-3539.
Night of Tribute, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Westwood High School Auditorium, 945 W. 8th St., Mesa. Free program includes music, film and speeches honoring the legacy of King and featuring nationally recognized gospel and jazz singer Margo Reed. Students who won Mesa MLK creative art and writing contests will also receive awards. Information: (480) 472-0612.
Chandler Multicultural Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Chandler Public Library Courtyard, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler. Chandler's 14th annual Multicultural Festival highlights the cultural diversity of the community through music, dance, art, storytelling children's area and a 4 p.m. Childsplay performance of "Ferdinand the Bull." Winners of the Creative Expression Competition will also be announced. Information: (480) 782-2665.
Feis in the Desert Irish Dance Festival, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, San Marcos Pavilion, 1 San Marcos Place, Chandler. A free Irish dance competition with dancers from across the country. Information: (480) 600-8509.
MLK Breakfast, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, Mesa Marriott, 200 N. Centennial Way. Program includes Maria Reyes, who contributed to the New York Times best-selling book "The Freedom Writers Diaries," which became a movie. Tickets are $35. Information: www.mesamlk.org.
MLK Parade, 11 a.m. to noon Monday, starts at 1st Avenue and Center Street, runs north on Center, and ends in front of Mesa Amphitheater in downtown Mesa. Best seats should be at Pepper Place and Center. Sixty entries with local school bands and community groups. Information: (480) 720-8592.
MLK Festival, noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Mesa Amphitheater, 201 N. Center St. The free program includes performances by dancers and singers and a reading of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Information: (480) 644-2560.
MLK Diversity Awards Brunch, 9:30 a.m. Monday, The Buttes Resort, 2000 W. Westcourt Way, Tempe. Brunch and awards ceremony and keynote speech by Lt. Col. Robert Ashby, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Breakfast is complimentary. Limited to the first 500 responses. Walk-ins will not be accommodated. Information: (480) 350-8979.
Town of Gilbert MLK Celebration, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 23, Mesquite High School, 500 S. McQueen Road, Gilbert. Free program includes a 40-minute video presentation by Gilbert junior high and high school students on what King's speech means to students. Guest speaker will be Gilbert Presiding Judge John Hudson. Information: (480) 503-6280.