The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prolific civil rights leaders in American History. When Martin Luther King Jr. Day was ratified as a federal holiday in 1983, many towns and cities across the country now hold parades and other activities to celebrate the holiday each year.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Orlando
Here is a list of parades and events happening in and near Orlando area for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
City of Tampa’s Martin Luther King Parade
Come on out to this fun family event happening on Monday January 17 at 12 noon. The City of Tampa’s Martin Luther King Parade will have floats, marching bands, an equestrian show, fancy cars, as well as local community folks showing off their wares. It will begin at Cuscaden Park and is sure to be annual event for the entire family.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration – Oviedo
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Oviedo will be held on Monday January 17 at 10am. The parade will leave from Oviedo High School to Round Lake Park. After the parade, enjoy a family fun day at the park from 11am to 2pm with games, food, and live entertainment.
Downtown Orlando MLK Parade
This year, the theme of the Downtown Orlando MLK Parade is, “It Starts With You – Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community.” It will be held on Saturday January 15 at 10am on Orange Avenue, Downtown Orlando.
Eatonville Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Celebration
The Eatonville Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Celebration will be held on Saturday January 15 at 2pm. This year’s theme is “Marching Through Adversity.” It will be held in the Town of Eatonville at 100 East Kennedy Boulevard. In addition to the parade, there will be food, live music, and vendors.
“I Have A Dream” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Races
Not quite ready to mix and mingle but still want to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King? Then join the Moon Joggers for the “I Have A Dream” MLK Jr. Virtual Races. You can do 1M, 5K, 10K, 13.1, or 26.2 all from the comfort of your home. Register for the race (there is a fee) and you 7will have all of January 2022, but finishing the race of your choice on MLK Jr. Day would be awesome! Once you register, a race package will be sent to you including a limited edition medal.
Kissimmee Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration
On Saturday January 15 from 11am to 4pm, join other locals at the Kissimmee Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration. It will be at the Kissimmee Lakefront Park. N addition to the parade, there will be food trucks, vendors, activities to do with the kiddos, and live performances by gospel, R&B, and soul musicians.
MLK Celebration – Daytona
It’s back! This year, the city of Daytona will host a festival honoring Dr. King rather than the annual banquet it held every year. The MLK Celebration in Daytona will be held Monday January 17 from 11am to 4pm in Daisy Stocking Park. There will be something fun for everyone in the family to enjoy that day.
MLK Dream Big Weekend – St. Petersburg
Looking to do a little more than just celebrate one day for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? if so, then you and the family should head out to St. Petersburg for the MLK Dream Big Weekend happening January 15 – 17. The entire weekend will be jammed packed with events honoring Dr. King like the Family Fun Day and Music Festival on Saturday, a gospel choir show on Sunday, and the weekend culminates with a parade on Monday.
Plant City Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Parade
You can start your celebration of Dr. King early this year by attending the Plant City Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Parade on Saturday January 8. The parade will start at 1pmand will have marching bands, floats, and the famous Million Dollar Corvette Posse Stroll. Bring the family out to enjoy the parade whose theme this year is “Our Community’s Will to Survive and Thrive.”
Unity Heritage Festival
The Unity Heritage Festival is a two day festival running January 16 and 17 in Shady Park across from Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park. Activities on both days will start at 10am. Both days will have live musicians, games for the kiddos, and food vendors. On Monday January 17, there will be a special program honoring Dr. King. The Hannibal Square Heritage Center will have extended hours so that visiting families can learn more the history of Hannibal Square and enjoying both the permanent and visiting exhibits.