ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Organizers of St. Petersburg’s Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Big Parade are putting the final touches on the largest MLK celebration in the Southeast United States. The parade will return in person this year to St. Pete on January 17th after hosting a virtual celebration in 2021.
“Having so many people together at one time and enjoying a wonderful parade, one of the biggest in the United States, it’s just fabulous,” said MLK Parade Organizer Anthony Hart. Hart is stoked to bring back the parade for its 36th year.
“MLK Day is very special to me. It’s just a blessing to be a part of it,” Hart added.
Safety will be a major focus.
“Please wear your mask. If you’re coming to the parade, please have on your mask. I know we can’t social distance but let’s be conscious of everything,” Hart elaborated.
The free festivities will kick off on Saturday, January 15th with a family fun day and music festival from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at Albert Whitted Park. Sunday, January 16th will feature a gospel choir at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church from 4 - 5:30 pm. and an MLK band showcase at the Campbell Park Football Complex from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. The main parade will start at 11 am. on Monday. It will run down 1st Avenue S. going Westward and start at 3rd St S. It will end at 16th St N. near Tropicana Field.
The parade will feature more than 100 groups.
Nearby business owners like Eric Atwater of Atwater’s BBQ and Soul Food can’t wait to welcome back the festivities.
“We’ve got to bring the love back and that’s what it’s all about, being safe and bringing the love back,” Atwater said.
The 2022 MLK Day parade features appearances by bands from Talladega College, Texas Southern University, Palm Beach Lakes High School, Miami Carroll City High School, Miles College, Booker T. Washington High School, Miami Norland High School, Stranahan High School, and Daytona Beach Mainland High School.
You can find more information about the weekend’s free events at: https://mlkdreambig.com/events/