Davis once again will honor the legacy of farm labor leader César Chávez when it holds its 11th annual celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday in Central Park, weather permitting.
The free event is sponsored by the city of Davis through the Human Relations Commission. The celebration will take place at the Rotary Stage at the north end of Central Park. Community members, especially children and families, are invited to attend.
The Chávez event will feature music and singing, community group displays and other inspirational presentations. The show will open with a guitar trio from UC Davis, followed by the César Chávez Elementary School Choir, which will perform several songs. A Michoacn Dance Troupe will perform dances from the Meseta Tarasca, including the popular “Danza de los Viejitos,” a celebration of life.
Davis resident Ramona Prieto, assistant commissioner of leadership development and communications for the California Highway Patrol, will be the featured speaker. Prieto was the first female motorcycle officer for the CHP and has been in law enforcement since 1977.
The celebration will conclude with music as well, as the family band Mariachi Tonantzin returns to Davis for a third year to treat participants to lively mariachi music.
Community groups will be participating, sharing information about their programs. Groups include the TANA Art Center, Woodland Community College ethnic studies department, La Raza Law Student Association and Children in the Fields campaign.
Thursday, March 31, is the late labor leader’s birthday. Chávez spoke at rallies in Davis’ Central Park during the tomato growers’ strikes in the 1970s. One rally in Davis on Aug. 11, 1974, was reported to have drawn more than 2,000 attendees.
The Chávez celebration will be the focal point of the Davis Farmers Market festivities Saturday in Central Park, Fourth and C streets. One of California’s oldest continuous farmers markets, the Davis market attracts thousands of visitors every Wednesday and Saturday and has been in operation since 1974. It was the first market in California to offer organic produce.