By Jennifer Grimes
Triplicate staff writer
Celebrating the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr., people of Crescent City came together yesterday for multicultural fair.
We think of this as a day on, not a day off, said Dale Condon, the local Americorps supervisor. Americorps volunteers organized the event held at the Veterans Hall.
The theme is cultural diversity. Ive lived here a long time and have seen this is a somewhat fractionated community. So, this is an attempt to get people together and talking, Condon said.
More than 100 people gathered to enjoy live music and learn about the history and cultures of the Tolowa Nation, Hmong, Mexican Americans and other groups.
Booths were set up around the large hall. Community groups such as Seniors as Foster Grandparents, Del Norte High School Leadership club and Americorps offered information.
The festival was scheduled for the entire afternoon. A rock band, a Mexican dance performance and an acting skit were some of the activities.
A candlelight vigil was set for 5:30 p.m., including a Native American Blessing and a reflection on Kings life.
King made it his lifes mission to materialize the ideals within the Declaration of Independence. Civil rights for everyone, not just white people.
We have to recognize what he did. It takes someone to make a sacrifice, to stand up and say: I want a change to get things started, said Sonnie Rubio, a representative of the Tolowa. Martin Luther King did that.
King took that stand at the age of 26. It was 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus. Parks and others organized a boycott of the Montgomery bus system and selected King to lead their group.
In a call to conscience, King made his first public speech, spurring a motion that began the civil rights movement.
Theres a certain kind of fire that no water can put out, King said in the last speech. He spent 12 years organizing the oppressed, enduring attacks of mace, dogs, fire hoses, sticks and police beatings.
In 1968, King was assassinated after a moving speech he made in Memphis, Tenn.
Despite his death, Kings memory and his nonviolent mission for equality, live on in a holiday.
The success of the first ever Community Multicultural Fair honoring Kings life, may make it an annual event, Condon said.