A weeklong celebration of peace begins at 5 p.m. today as residents and community leaders march through Central Long Beach neighborhoods for the sixth annual Peace March at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave.
Each year the annual candlelight march helps to spread the vibration of peace throughout Long Beach, said 6th District Councilman Dee Andrews.
"This Peace March provides the community an opportunity to stand united. Walking together, we represent peace, love, and understanding, which is the true meaning of community," he said. "I hope to see all the churches, families, schools and community organizations at the march."
As part of Peace Week, six Peace Maker Award recipients have been selected and will be honored Tuesday during the Long Beach City Council meeting. The award recognizes the legacy of King.
The honorees were chosen based upon their background of volunteering in the community and promoting messages of community engagement, nonviolence and unity, event organizers said.
The 2013 honorees are:
Youth honoree - Christopher Covington;
Community female honoree - Nina Allison;
Community male honoree - Logan Baughman;
Community organization honoree - the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance
Corporation honoree - Steve Goodling from the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau; and
Corporate Spirit Award honoree - Alejandro S. Angulo from Rutan & Tucker, LLP.
Activities celebrating peace continue throughout the week and will include:
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Community groups and neighbors cleaning up along the parade route area beginning at McBride Park, 1550 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.: The Gift - Local residents receive free gifts, which include food, clothing, services and accessories at Washington Middle School, 1450 Cedar Ave.
Saturday, 3-5 p.m: Peace Fest - In honor of global peacemakers King, Ghandi, Ikeda and Chavez, the Peace Fest celebrates with music, arts and crafts, local vendors, and neighborhood organizations at Peace Garden, DHHS Central Facilities Center, 1133 Rhea St.
Sunday: Personal Reflections - all places of worship in Long Beach are encouraged to participate in recognition of King's legacy in the form of their choice to help promote the dialogue and reflection of King's message in the community.
Monday, 6 p.m.: Dance For Peace - an evening of dance and art in motion with special performances from local Long Beach artist at Manazar Gamboa Community Theater, Homeland Cultural Center 1323 Gundry Ave.
Tuesday, 4 p.m.: Martin Luther King Jr. Presentation and Peace Maker Awards - recognition of local community leaders who have continued the message of peace, Long Beach City Council Meeting, City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd.
Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.: Vision of Peace - an evening of poetry and short story readings from the Vision of Peace Project at Martin Luther King Park, 1950 Lemon Ave.
Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.: A Day in the Life with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - a panel of community members who have been in contact, connected and interacted with King will share their personal stories at Martin Luther King Park, 1950 Lemon Ave.
Jan. 19, 10:30 a.m.: 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace & Unity Parade Celebration.
Free parking will be available for the Peace March and the parade at Long Beach City College. For more information on Peace Week activities, call 562-570-6816 or go to www.longbeach.gov/district 6.