BARSTOW • Last year more than 100 people trekked up Barstow Road from Williams Street to the Cora Harper Fitness Center, a half-mile march uphill, to remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle and the struggle of others fighting for their civil rights.
Members of the Barstow Art and Industrial Women's and Men's Club will host their 15th-annual march Saturday and are hoping more people will accompany them up the hill. The club will also remember King at its annual breakfast Monday, which will feature music and an address by Reverend Ray L. Dixon of the Union Missionary Baptist Church.
"Martin Luther King marched, that's the reason we march now," said club's vice president Elizabeth Hilton, who began participating in the march in 2004. "Every year it seems like it gets better. It seems like more people come."
After the march, which takes about an hour to complete, participants will head into the Cora Harper Fitness Center for dancing from the group God Elite of Bethany Christian Fellowship. Bushawn Carpenter, who is also from Bethany Christian Fellowship, will be preaching after the march, Hilton said.
The march was started by former mayor Katy Yslas-Yent, Clara Jefferson and Rita Jackson. Hilton said the original theme is similar to this year's theme.
"In 2002 (the theme) was to have courage," she said.
Over the years many different people have participated in the march, Hilton said. Every year veterans from Veterans Home in Barstow make the uphill trek. And this year preschoolers from Ms. Loretta's Tiny Tots classes may march.
"We get a chance to meet all different kinds of people young and old," Hilton said. "It's just a blessing."
The march will start on the right side of Barstow Road and end at the Cora Harper Fitness Center. That side of Barstow Road will be closed for the duration of the march.
The breakfast will take place at Sizzler on East Main Street Monday.
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