Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Community Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Community Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Colorado State University Oval, Old Town Square

WHAT:     The Fort Collins, Loveland and Colorado State University communities will gather in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Events include the traditional one-mile march from the Oval to Old Town.

Pre-march entertainment will be provided by RAM Nation, a Native American drumming group, and an address by guest speaker, Blanche Hughes, associate vice president of Student Affairs at Colorado State University.

The program in Old Town will include entertainment by the Rainbow Chorus; a reading of "Still I Rise", a poem by Maya Angelou; a reading of a section of one of King’s historic speeches; and a keynote address by Blane Harding, ethnic studies professor at Colorado State.


WHERE:      11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16 at Colorado State University’s historic Oval.

DETAILS:     The theme of this year’s celebration is "R!se Up: You Are the Dream."

About 4,000 people typically participate in the march from the Oval to Old Town; which begins following Hughes’ address at the Oval. The march recreates the historic 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. It begins in the Oval, travels east on Laurel Street to College Avenue before continuing north on College to Mountain Avenue. Participants will enter Old Town Square from the northeast intersection of College and Mountain avenues and continue to Linden Street. Roads along the march route will be closed during the march. Participants are encouraged to sing as they march, and words to appropriate songs are provided in the printed program.

The march will be led by local dignitaries including City of Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson; Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley; Courtney Healey, Associated Students of Colorado State University president; representatives from Front Range Community College; Larimer County Commissioners Kathay Rennels, Glenn Gibson and Karen Wagner; Thompson Valley School District Superintendent Dan Johnson, Poudre School District Superintendent Jerry Wilson and students winners in the Martin Luther King, Jr. poetry and essay contest for local school-aged children.

Special guests include Valerie A. Pretty Paint, MLK Jr. scholarship recipient, Colorado State University’s Multicultural Leadership Retreat participants, Human Rights Commission Award winners, Fort Collins Youth Multicultural Retreat participants, Northern Colorado Multicultural Corp. Merchant Awareness Award winners and university Advocacy Office directors.

Participants will be invited to share hot chocolate and birthday cake at the program’s conclusion in Old Town. Hot chocolate and water also will be available on the Oval before the march. Sign language interpreters will be present at both the Oval and at Old Town.