Arizona city honors MLK with street naming - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Arizona city honors MLK with street naming

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MESA, Ariz. -
The city of Mesa marked Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a parade and other celebrations, but the highlight this year was the completion of a project the city's MLK Committee has worked on for several years: the unveiling of a street named after King.

The decision to rename 3rd Place as MLK Way came during a Mesa City Council meeting in December.

Mesa's mayor was on hand to help unveil the sign in front of on-lookers and city council members in what was a historic day for the city.

"It's an exciting day. Not only do we have a great parade, another one almost 20 years in Mesa, but also we get the honor to name a street right here in our downtown after Dr. King," said Mayor Scott Smith.  "And we think that it's a dream and it's a symbol that's worth recognizing."

MLK Way was unveiled as thousands waited to be amongst the first to walk the street for the annual MLK Parade.

People from all over the community came out to honor Dr. King -- marching down MLK Way.  Bands, floats and dance teams provided the entertainment as thousands marched.

In 1953, residents formed the Better Community Council to eliminate segregation at public facilities and restaurants. The committee's efforts led to integration of the pool.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is the third Monday in January.

Events in Arizona:

MLK Interfaith Candlelight & Prayer Service
Jan. 20 from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Mesa Arts Center/Playhouse Theater
One East Main St.

Mesa MLK Day
Jan. 20
March: 11 a.m. to noon
Downtown Mesa
Festival: noon to 4 p.m.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St

Phoenix MLK Day
Jan. 20
March: 9 a.m.
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 14th Street & Jefferson
Route: www.mapquest.com/?version=1.0&hk=10-dYIJdsoS
Festival: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Margaret T. Hance Park, 3rd Street & Moreland

All MLK Day Events - http://phoenix.about.com/od/events/a/mlkday.htm

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press modified.

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