Ashland's 25th annual observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St.
This year's event kicks off with a 25-year retrospective of Ashland's MLK celebrations, compiled by Ashland High School Principal Michelle Zundel.
Master of ceremonies D.L. Richardson, a professor of journalism at Southern Oregon University, will present opening remarks and a history of civil rights.
The celebration will offer a variety of tributes to King and his legacy of peace and understanding between faiths and cultures.
The Scenic Middle School choir will sing "Martin Luther King Walked in Peace," and Gerome Preston Bates of Oregon Shakespeare Festival's production of "Two Trains Running" will present an inspirational talk. Christina Robinson, cast in OSF's "My Fair Lady," will read from African-American poet Sonia Sanchez's "For Sweet Honey in the Rock," and Ashland DanceWorks will present a piece that juxtaposes classical music with hip-hop beats and spoken words by King. An OSF company also will perform singer and songwriter Amy Dixon-Kolar's "Rosa Sat," a song written for Barack Obama after his first presidential election.
OSF technicians are working to tape President Obama's inaugural speech in Washington, D.C., earlier in the day and rebroadcast parts of it at the Armory.
After tributes at the Armory, Southern Oregon University's Black Student Union will lead a march to Lithia Park, where there will be a broadcast of King's "I Have a Dream" and vocal performances by Rogue Valley Peace Choir.
Admission is free, but donations of nonperishable food will be accepted for ACCESS, and the American Red Cross will be accepting blood donations at Umpqua Bank.
The event will be streamed live via www.ashlandhome.net at Carpenter Hall, 44 S. Pioneer St., in the case of full audience capacity at the Armory.
Admission is free.