Bay Area Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

11:44 AM: Marches, rallies and festivals are planned in San Francisco and elsewhere in the Bay Area today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The “Freedom Train,” sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, departed from San Jose this morning and was set to arrive at the San Francisco Caltrain station around 11 a.m.

Riders planned to walk roughly 1.5 miles from the station to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for an annual festival hosted by the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation.

On their way, the marchers crossed the Lefty O’Doul Bridge near AT&T Park to commemorate the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge during a march King led with other civil rights advocates in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

Today’s march was set to continue down Third Street before ending at Yerba Buena Gardens for a noon interfaith ceremony led by the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

The free festival at Yerba Buena will continue until 5 p.m.

There is free admission today at the galleries at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Museum of the African Diaspora and the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

To accommodate the anticipated crowds, there will be supplemental bus service between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the San Francisco Municipal Railway 30-Stockton route.

On the T-Third Muni Metro line, there was special service between Visitacion Valley and the San Francisco Caltrain station.

In other parts of the Bay Area, residents are also remembering King with rallies, parades and marches.

The “Keeping the Dream Alive through Education and Nonviolence” rally in Oakland this morning was scheduled to include a speech by Oakland fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed and performances by youngsters from the Oakland-based program Youth Uprising.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and former Oakland mayor Elihu Harris were expected to attend, along with Vice Mayor Larry Reid.

The rally was scheduled for 10 a.m. at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union hall at 99 Hegenberger Road in Oakland.

In El Cerrito, a parade began in the parking lot of the DMV this morning and continued to El Cerrito High School for a rally.

A health fair sponsored by Attitudinal Healing Connection was taking place until noon at McClymonds High School at 2607 Myrtle St. in Oakland.

An annual noontime MLK celebration by the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center is being held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 1924 Trinity Ave. in Walnut Creek. The Rev. Kamal Hassan from the Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond will present his thoughts on an “inconvenient hero” in a keynote speech. There will also be a gospel choir performing.

Other events will be held throughout the day in Richmond, San Leandro, Santa Rosa and elsewhere.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

8:38 AM: People are flocking to San Francisco this morning to participate in a march and festival honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A “Freedom Train” will carry passengers along the Caltrain tracks from the South Bay to San Francisco, where they will join a roughly 1.5-mile walk to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for an annual festival hosted by the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation.

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The march begins at the San Francisco Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets at 11 a.m.

Various programs are scheduled for this afternoon at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Yerba Buena Gardens. More information is available at

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