The longest-standing observance in West Contra Costa of the holiday honoring civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. returns Jan. 21 in El Cerrito.
The 24th annual celebration opens with the traditional parade that starts at the parking lot of the El Cerrito Department of Motor Vehicles at 9:30 a.m.
The community is invited to be part of the parade, which begins assembling at 9 a.m. and will be led by the El Cerrito High School marching band as it proceeds to the ECHS campus at 540 Ashbury Ave. for the program and rally that starts in the Performing Arts Center at 10:15 a.m.
The program will include displays and speeches, along with music, dancing and other entertainment that will share Dr. King's vision of equality.
The free observance is sponsored by the city, St. Peter Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP and the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
For more details, contact Patricia Durham at 510-234-2518.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: East Bay musician Evie Ladin uses her stage skills in many roles, from performing as part of the popular Stairwell Sisters, to appearing with husband Keith Terry as the Crosspulse Rhythm Duo at clubs such as Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, to holding instructional sessions on banjo picking at local venues.
This week, Ladin will perform with her own band -- including Terry, Dina Maccabee and Erik Pearson -- in a program of "traditional music with an urban sensibility" at the next Point Richmond Acoustic Concert Series show at 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at First Methodist Church, 201 Martina Ave.
Wisconsin songwriter Katie Dahl opens the show at the historic church, an intimate venue known for its acoustics.
Tickets are $15 at the door. The concert series continues on the second Friday of the month through May. For more details, visit www.pointacoustic.org.
Berkeley got on board with an event last October that closed 17 blocks of Shattuck Avenue for the afternoon, and organizers at Livable Berkeley estimate that more than 40,000 people attended to "connect with their community and urban environment in a transformative way."
Livable Berkeley is rallying support as the Berkeley City Council is scheduled at its Jan. 22 meeting to consider whether to support a proposed Sunday Streets event in 2013. The catch is that the city would have to waive costs and fees for the repeat event to become a reality.
A petition urging City Council support is online at http://chn.ge/VRkfv9.
This week, El Cerrito was scheduled to install markers commemorating San Pablo Avenue's role as part of the historic Lincoln Highway, the first designated coast-to-coast motor route in the United States.
The city has been working with El Cerrito Historical Society members Barbara Hill and Rich Bartke on the project, and the signs were purchased by three society members and donated to the city. This year is the highway's 100th anniversary.
The highway "ran coast to coast beginning in Times Square in New York City and ending in Lincoln Park, San Francisco," the society notes in its newsletter. "The route changed many times as improvements were made. Locally, after the Carquinez Bridge was opened in 1927, the route moved from the Stockton Altamont Pass alignment to come through El Cerrito to the Berkeley pier ferry landing."
Highway marker locations on San Pablo are north of Blake Street, south of Cutting Boulevard, south of El Dorado Street and south of Lincoln Avenue.
Learn more about the Lincoln Highway system at www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org.
The ensemble, which has toured internationally, specializes in "folk-rock and Americana songs with interwoven harmonies supported by guitars and percussion."
The local performance is part of the Live From St. Alban's music series, and a suggested donation of $10 per person is requested. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tea and coffee will be served.
The company has received a grant from UC Berkeley's Scandinavian Department to premiere a dance program this spring with Swedish poetry.
Roszak, the center's artistic director, is also planning a curated dance series called "Dance on Center" this year.
For more details, call 510-233-5550 or visit www.dlkdance.com.