Mesa remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with parade and festival

January 13, 2020 at 10:08 am

The leadership and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be remembered with a parade and festival. The events are organized by the Mesa Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and the City of Mesa. They will be held Monday, Jan. 20, which is Martin Luther King (MLK) Day.

The East Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The parade will begin at the intersection of Center Street and MLK Way and will travel south on Center Street to First Street, then travel west on First Street and conclude at Robson. The parade will include Mesa Councilmembers, Mesa Police Department, Mesa Fire and Medical Department, marching bands and community leaders and local organizations.

The 2020 Grand Marshal is Reyna Montoya, founder and CEO of Aliento. Through youth-led arts and healing workshops, leadership development and community organizing, Aliento transforms trauma into hope and action for those most impacted by the harms associated with lacking an immigration status.

Following the parade, there will be a community festival from 12 4 p.m. This will include a brief program at 12:30 p.m. near Pepper and Macdonald honoring the work and legacy of Dr. King.

As part of the holiday, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 N. Macdonald, and the i.d.e.a. Museum, 150 W. Pepper Place, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with half price admission. The i.d.e.a. Museum will have a special "early bird" bonus hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The following streets are scheduled to be closed for the parade:

8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Center St- University to 1st St.
MLK Jr. Way/3rd Place - Centennial Way to Drew St
2nd St- Centennial Hall Parking Lot to Drew St
2nd St- Robson to Country Club
Robson-1st St to 2nd St
1st St- Centennial Way to Country Club
Macdonald- 1st St. to Main (closed until 7 p.m.)
Pepper Place at Macdonald

Most streets should reopen by 2 p.m. Macdonald, which will be closed between 1st Street and Main Street for the festival, will reopen by 7 p.m. Traffic can detour around the parade route by using Main Street, Mesa Drive, Country Club Drive and University Drive.

The City of Mesa offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of MLK Day.

The closure includes libraries and the Webster, Jefferson and Eagles recreation centers.

The Red Mountain Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fitness classes, pickleball and volleyball at Red Mountain will not be offered. The Dobson Ranch Golf Course and all City tennis courts will be open. The Kino Aquatic Center and Skyline Aquatic Center will be open for lap swimming.

Trash and recycle service will be on the normal collection schedule but residents should have barrels on the curb by 6 a.m.

Light rail, bus and circulator bus service will operate on their regular schedules. The Express and RAPID bus service will not operate.

Between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Downtown Buzz will not operate on Center Street between Pepper and University for the parade. Please board the Buzz on southbound Centennial Way or northbound on Center Street at Main.

Between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m., Route 112 northbound to Country Club and Min Street will operate normally on Main. It will turn east (right) on Main Street and deboard passengers in front of Pedrito's Taco Shop to allow riders to connect with light rail.

Mesa's annual MLK celebrations were created after residents, in 1996, voted to establish a citywide holiday recognizing the leadership of Dr. King. For more information on the MLK celebrations, visit

Public Information and Communications
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Tel. 480-644-4699