BIDDEFORD — Biddeford is hosting vigil and rally against hate crimes tonight following what police described as a racially motivated attack in the city a week ago.

Three men were charged with aggravated assault stemming from an attack on a black man in a hotel room on Jan. 15. One of the men was armed with a baseball bat.

Mayor Joanne Twomey said she and Britt Wolfe, principal of Biddeford High School, decided the rally was an important signal to send.

“We thought we would take this opportunity to have a rally, get the youth involved, and come together tonight in solidarity to show the state of Maine that Biddeford will not tolerate nor does it support anything like that,” Twomey said.

Twomey said the event will go on despite the forecast or cold temperatures. She spent part of today digging her fire bowl out of the snow so she could have a fire during the vigil, she said.

“It’s going to be cold, but we’re Mainers. We all wear winter clothing,” she said. “When we go to Quebec for winter carnival, it’s no different than that.”

City Hall will be open for anyone who gets too cold, she said.

The rally is set for 6 p.m. at the Civil War Memorial behind City Hall.