Mother's Day Celebrations Planned For Southland

By Steven Herbert
|  Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 2:54 PM PDT
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Looking for something fun to do with mom? Perhaps a concert or festival would make the perfect Mother's Day activity.

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Mother's Day will be celebrated in Southern California on Sunday with a festival on Olvera Street, and concerts at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre and in Long Beach.

While Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday each year in the United States, Dia de la Madre is celebrated on May 10 each year in Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala.

With both days falling on Sunday, a festival will be held from noon to 10 p.m. on Olvera Street, including carnival rides and games, live music, free health services, immigration and legal services and a variety of other services, products and information provided by other exhibitors.

The sixth annual Mother's Day Blues and Jazz Extravaganza will be held at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in the Cahuenga Pass from 3-8 p.m., featuring Barbara Morrison, Muffy Charles, and Joe Kincaid & the Soul Brothers.

A free opera concert will be held at the Bay Shore Church in the Belmont Shore portion of Long Beach beginning at 3 p.m.

The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center will hold its fifth annual Mother's Day Luncheon in Baldwin Village, honoring mothers who have had children murdered or with children or spouses deployed in the military.

Mother's Day is not immune from the recession. Americans will spend an average of $123.89 on Mother's Day, compared to $138.63 last year, according to the National Retail Federation's 2009 Mother's Day consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.

"No one will forgo celebrating Mother's Day because of the bad economy, but they will put careful thought into what they buy and how much they spend," said Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for BIGresearch, which conducted the survey.

"Moms will understand that kids may be spending on a budget, so inexpensive, personal gifts will go a long way."

In his Mother's Day proclamation, President Barack Obama wrote, "Mothers are the bedrock of the American family -- vital to their children's growth and happiness and to the success of our country."

"Mothers instill the values and confidence that help define their children's character and self-esteem and offer a guiding clarity of spirit. Mothers are role models, teachers and sources of unconditional support. There is no substitute for the bond of love between mother and child and nothing is more worthy of reverence."

Mother's Day was initially proposed in 1870 by activist-poet Julia Ward Howe as a call for peace and disarmament. It was celebrated in 18 cities in 1873, continued for about another 10 years in Boston under Howe's backing, then died out.

On May 9, 1907, the second anniversary of her mother Ann Jarvis' death, Anna Jarvis invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia in commemoration of her mother's life, which included providing nursing care and promoting better sanitation during the Civil War, helping save lives on both sides.

The younger Jarvis announced to her friends her idea of a day of national celebration in honor of mothers.

The first Mother's Day was celebrated on May 10, 1908 at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, W.V., where Ann Jarvis worshipped. The church is now known as the International Mother's Day Shrine.

West Virginia Gov. William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother's Day proclamation in 1910 and by 1911, it was celebrated in nearly every state. President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional joint resolution in 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day nationally.

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