TAMPA (WFLA) – Today the nation honors the late Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights icon would have been 89 years old, if alive today.
MLK Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January. And this year, it falls on his actual birthday, the 15th. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929 and killed in April of 1968. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
Government offices and the U.S. stock market are closed today.
President Donald Trump is encouraging Americans to observe the federal holiday by doing “acts of civic work and community service.”
In Tampa, People gathered early Monday morning for the 38th annual Martin Luther King Leadership Breakfast at the Hilton downtown. It is put on by the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs.
The MLK Day parade steps off at noon at 15th Street and 21st Avenue in Tampa for its 29th annual celebration. Thousands line the streets of the 2-mile route winding through East Tampa beginning at Cuscaden Park and ending at Middleton High School.
In St. Petersburg, the MLK Dream Big parade steps off at 11 a.m. There is a new parade route this year as it begins on 1st Avenue South at 3rd Street and proceeds west to 16th Street, turning south for two blocks and then west onto 3rd Avenue South and disbanding near Tropicana Field Lot 1. NBA champion Marreese Speights is the grand marshal.
PTC St. Petersburg campus will also hold the Gathering Of Women Fifth Annual Youth Summit on campus, featuring arts and crafts for kids and a tribute to Africa.
The 2018 Family Fun Day festival will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the east side of Tropicana Field in Lot 7A.
And employees across Tampa Bay are taking part in the day of service. Duke Energy workers are helping at two events in St. Pete. – one at the Ronald McDonald House and the other in the Campbell Park community.MORE: King’s words still inspire nearly 50 years after his death