Thousands expected at MLK Parade in St. Petersburg

Pinellas County

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Many have the day off from work Monday to enjoy the holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King. One of the longest-running parades in the nation happens every year in Pinellas County.

Monday thousands are expected to line the streets yet again for the 34th MLK parade.

MLK gave his famous “I have a dream” speech 57 years ago. It will be playing on a loudspeaker at the beginning of the parade. Organizers said the event’s goal is to empower individuals and strengthen the community.

Organizers say the civil rights movement in St. Petersburg was sparked by garbage truck workers.

“The garbage trucks are the first ones to start the parade because they’re the ones that went on strike when MLK marched these streets in St.Petersburg,” said MLK Parade Organizer, Jason Bryant. “When it was the city of Green Benches, black people weren’t allowed to sit on those benches. So it turned into a whole thing and the strike happened.”

The parade starts at 11 a.m. on 1st Avenue South and 2nd Street South. The parade ends near Tropicana Field.

There’s a free ‘Dream Big Family Fun Day’ after the parade from 2:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. including a kids zone, live entertainment, and food trucks. For more details about the parade and family fun day click here.

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