Why We Can’t Wait – Fort Collins, Loveland and Colorado State Communities Celebrate Mlk Day

"Why We Can’t Wait," the theme of this year’s Fort Collins, Loveland and Colorado State University community celebration, will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, 2008.

The community march from the Colorado State Oval to Linden Street in Fort Collins will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 21. Welcoming remarks will be made by Bridgette Johnson, director of education at Abyssinian Christian Church, a Poudre School District volunteer and a retention coordinator for the advocacy offices at Colorado State University. Music will be provided by Denise Hall, intern minister at Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins and a seminary student at Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

Before the march, the community is invited to a poetry and essay reading at 9:30 a.m. at the Colorado State University Bookstore in the Lory Student Center. The readers will include children whose winning poems and essays were selected through the Martin Luther King, Jr. essay and poetry contest.

The march will proceed east on Laurel Street to College Avenue, then continue north on College Avenue to Mountain Avenue. Participants will enter Old Town Square from the northeast intersection of College and Mountain avenues, and then continue on to Linden Street. The march route will be closed to traffic during the event. Participants will be encouraged to sing as they march; lyrics to several songs will be provided in a printed program.

The program in Old Town will continue with a mayoral proclamation by Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson and keynote speech from Mark Benn, accompanied by music from the Abyssinian Christian Church choir. Benn, a licensed psychologist and assistant adjunct professor at Colorado State, has traveled nationally for the past 20 years as a diversity trainer, mediator and conference keynote presenter. He has served as a consultant for a variety of different businesses helping to shape the environment and atmosphere of their workplace.  

Community involvement tables will be located around Linden Street during the celebration.

Buses will be available from noon-2:30 p.m. to transport participants back to the CSU Oval. Buses will board at the corner of Mountain Avenue and Remington Street.

Loveland’s 19th annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration will begin at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 at Thompson Valley High School, 1669 Eagle Drive. The Loveland event will include an invocation by Rev. Ted Nutting and a storytelling performance by Bett Kopit. For more information about the Loveland event, contact Dick Barton at ppmbarton@comcast.net.

Preceding the events of Jan. 21, the second-annual Community Celebration, held in connection Martin Luther King Jr. Day, will be begin at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (970) 495-0818.

Also on Jan. 20, local students will read the winning poems and essays selected through the Martin Luther King, Jr. essay and poetry contest from 6-7 p.m. on KRFC 88.9 FM radio.     

Visit www.mlkfortcollins.org for the full list of Martin Luther King Jr. Day events.