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MLK Dream Big Celebration commemorates MLK Day in four-day series of events

MLK Dream Big Celebration commemorates MLK Day in four-day series of events

Parade-goers smiling on MLK Day
Photo via City of St. Pete

Returning for its 38th year, the massive MLK Dream Big Celebration is back this weekend in St. Pete, January 12-15th. The annual four-day event stretches Friday-Monday and features a citywide treasure hunt, a marching band showcase, and of course, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade through downtown on Monday.

Organizers say the MLK Dream Big Weekend is meant to be a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in St. Pete, “a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work, and play.”

The parade on Monday begins at the intersection of 3rd Street South and 1st Avenue South next to First Citrus Bank where it will march all the way down 1st Ave S until taking a left onto 16th Street South and conclude across from Tropicana Field. This year’s parade features performances from 10 different high school and college marching bands from around the state and country.

To help everyone in the area join in on the festivities, PSTA is offering free rides on the SunRunner, Central Trolley, and Route 5 all day Monday. PSTA will also be debuting a newly wrapped bus in the parade, featuring Dr. King himself, emblazoned with the line, “It starts with me.”

A PSTA bus
Photo courtesy PSTA

The lineup of main events is listed below, and more details can be found at All events are free and open to the public.

MLK Dream Big Banquet – Friday, January 12, 7-10 am, St. Petersburg Country Club

MLK Citywide Treasure Hunt – Saturday, January 13, 11 am – 2 pm. This event is a fun and interactive way to explore African American history and an excellent platform for youth to connect with the community and learn about the significant contributions of African Americans to our society.

MLK Band Showcase – Sunday, January 14, 6-8:30 pm, Lakewood High School. Don’t miss this extraordinary event featuring the talented musicians of tomorrow! The Showcase will feature college bands from Tuskegee University, Savannah State University, and Albany State University.

MLK Dream Big Parade – Monday, January 15, 11 am – 2 pm. It’s a wonderful opportunity to honor the achievements of Dr. King and to embrace the diversity and unity of our community. Witness a spectacular array of floats representing various organizations, communities, and themes that embody the spirit of Dr. King’s vision. Enjoy the rhythmic beats and lively performances of marching bands from visiting local schools and colleges, bringing energy and music to the streets.

MLK Family Fun Day – Monday, January 15, 2:30-6 pm, Tropicana Field Lot #4. Indulge in a wide array of delicious foods from some of the best local vendors. Enjoy a lineup of live performances that will keep you entertained throughout the event. Take a moment to get a quick health checkup.


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