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MLK parade returns to Tampa after pause during pandemic

Tampa MLK Parade
Posted at 3:47 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 18:27:12-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa’s MLK Parade is on again this year in just a few days, and organizers are calling on the community to help make it the best one yet.

“I was a little boy when Dr. King was involved in just trying to make it a better place,” said Robert Scott, President of the MLK Parade Foundation. “I saw the things that he was doing and became a martyr for his family. So I was like, 'Wow, who would I want to support? Who do I look up to?' And it was the Rev. Dr. King.”

Scott said he’s been helping organize the parade for about 20 years. His joy was visible for everyone to see as they get back to an event honoring one of our nation’s heroes.

“I am so excited about it that I’m just overcome with joy,” said Scott.

The parade is a tradition that’s evolved into a two-mile route in the east Tampa area. This year, people can expect floats, dancers, bands from both Florida A&M and Bethune Cookman University, and WWE superstar Titus O’Neil as the grand marshal.

“For the area that we go through in east Tampa, that’s probably the biggest and best event that happens in that side of town all year. So we’re happy to be the force that brings the community together in beautiful east Tampa,” said Howard Harris, Vice President of the MLK Parade Foundation.

The parade is back after pushing the pause button last year due to the pandemic. Supporters recognize how hard the pandemic has been and how much events like this mean to the community while asking people to take personal responsibility for their own health and safety.

“If that means wearing a mask, keeping your distance. It’s a parade route, so there’s plenty of space. Do your part to make it a successful event for us all to enjoy,” said Santiago Corrada, the President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay.

The parade is on Monday, January 17, and starts at Cuscaden Park at noon. It will end near Middleton High School around 4pm. The full route can be seen below.

Organizers are excited to celebrate once again and are ready for the community to join in too.

“The best way is to everybody, come out together,” said Scott. “Support each other, work together.”

MLK 2022 Tampa Parade Route