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1066455 2999-04-26 00:00:00.0 UTC 2999-04-25T20:00:00.000-04:00 2010-01-19 04:15:38.0 UTC 2010-01-18T23:15:38.000-05:00 mlk-festivities-in-st-petersburg-honor-slain-civil-rights-leader Published 2010-01-19 04:15:38.0 UTC 2010-01-18T23:15:38.000-05:00 news/humaninterest DTI 58937214 ST. PETERSBURG — The state's largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade snaked through downtown Monday in a flurry of crashing cymbals, booming tubas and sequin-clad dancers. Snippets of King's "I Have a Dream" speech blared from a speaker: "Free at last! Free at last!" The event, which boasted 93 entries, was the largest among many celebrations and tributes hosted throughout the Tampa Bay area Monday to honor the slain minister who helped lead the nation's largest civil rights movement. During the annual King breakfast at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, Mayor Bill Foster called on community leaders and residents to make lifelong — or at least start with yearlong — commitments to tutor and mentor the city's youths. But the parade was the day's highlight, its sights and smells taking over downtown. It lasted more than three hours. Politicians, beauty queens and church leaders waved from glittering floats. Vendors hawked soul food on street corners, leaving the air heavy with the smell of roast meat, fried side dishes and seasoned collard greens. Dancers in a rainbow of sparkling bodysuits strutted down Central Avenue, their white knee-high boots kicking toward the sky to the rhythm of student marching bands from six states. Children played with bubble machines behind metal barriers and called out for beads from passing floats. Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays' mascot, danced atop an all-terrain vehicle as a nearby team float blasted hip-hop music. The Miami Central High School Marching Rockets swayed as they performed the music to Luther Vandross' Never too Much. Kim Colston and her husband, Dwight, of Tampa, waved from the sidewalk at the passing dignitaries, including actor and minister Clifton Davis, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who stood upright in a red, open-topped Jeep Wrangler. The Colstons wore matching black T-shirts depicting King and President Barack Obama, both winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, that she picked up at the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival. She said this year's holiday was special because her 5-year-old son, James, was beginning to pay attention to the impact of King's service. "This is when he's going to really start remembering the meaning," she said. By Cristina Silva and <a href="/writers/katie-sanders">Katie Sanders</a>, Times Staff Writers Human Interest_News,News,Pinellas MLK festivities in St. Petersburg honor slain civil rights leader CSILVAN Flashy floats, spirited bands and sparkling dancers highlight the celebration in St. Petersburg. CIT Local &amp; State dhvjzrzmu2vc dhvjz United in the vision St. Petersburg 1 MLKPARADE011910.0st United in the vision 2010-01-19 05:00:00.0 UTC 2010-01-19T00:00:00.000-05:00 From left, Malcolm Bowens, 12, Delartus Cherry, 14, and Denard Williamson, 12, perform with the Garden City Panthers Marching Unit from Augusta, Ga., on Monday during the 25th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice National Parade in downtown St. Petersburg. resources/images/dti/2010/01/b0s_march011910_103505a.jpg KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times resources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_march011910_103505a_4col.jpgresources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_march011910_103505a_8col.jpg A group from St. John M.B. Church marches down Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue during Clearwater&#8217;s celebration Monday. resources/images/dti/2010/01/b0s_walk011910_103504a.jpg JIM DAMASKE | Times resources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_walk011910_103504a_4col.jpgresources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_walk011910_103504a_8col.jpg Juanita Armogan of Port St. Lucie greets the crowd during the 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and parade in St. Petersburg on Monday. resources/images/dti/2010/01/b0s_costume011910_103503a.jpg KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times resources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_costume011910_103503a_4col.jpgresources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_costume011910_103503a_8col.jpg Jeannette Dudley, left, greets Juanita Watkins, both of St. Petersburg, before the start of the 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards Breakfast at the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Monday. resources/images/dti/2010/01/b0s_lunch011910_103502a.jpg SCOTT KEELER | Times resources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_lunch011910_103502a_4col.jpgresources/images/dti/rendered/2010/01/b0s_lunch011910_103502a_8col.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2010/01/18/58937214-mlk-festivities-in-st-petersburg-honor-slain-civil-rights-leader StaffArticle news,human interest_newsHuman Interest News ArticlesST. PETERSBURG — The state's largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade snaked through downtown Monday in a flurry of crashing cymbals, booming tubas and sequin-clad dancers.Human Interest_News,News,PinellasHuman Interest_News,News,Pinellas<span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">CRISTINA SILVA</span><span class="fn">KATIE SANDERS</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Staff Writers 2288187 2016-08-04 18:37:54.0 UTC 3 Weeks Ago slain-officers-widow-donates-tougher-ballistic-plates-to-protect-st news/publicsafety Slain officer's widow donates tougher body armor to protect St. Petersburg officers StaffArticle 2287654 2016-08-01 14:57:48.0 UTC 4 Weeks Ago beach-drives-jaywalkers-mostly-within-their-rights news/publicsafety Jaywalkers on St. Petersburg's Beach Drive are mostly within their rights StaffArticle 2291160 2016-08-27 11:30:00.0 UTC 2 Days Ago st-petersburg-women-risk-pain-and-injury-to-find-themselves-on-the-roller news/humaninterest Women risk pain and injury to skate on St. Pete roller derby track StaffArticle <p>ST. PETERSBURG — The state's largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade snaked through downtown Monday in a flurry of crashing cymbals, booming tubas and sequin-clad dancers.</p> <p>Snippets of King's &quot;I Have a Dream&quot; speech blared from a speaker: &quot;Free at last! Free at last!&quot;</p> <p>The event, which boasted 93 entries, was the largest among many celebrations and tributes hosted throughout the Tampa Bay area Monday to honor the slain minister who helped lead the nation's largest civil rights movement.</p> <p>During the annual King breakfast at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, Mayor Bill Foster called on community leaders and residents to make lifelong — or at least start with yearlong — commitments to tutor and mentor the city's youths.</p> <p>But the parade was the day's highlight, its sights and smells taking over downtown. It lasted more than three hours.</p> <p>Politicians, beauty queens and church leaders waved from glittering floats.</p> <p>Vendors hawked soul food on street corners, leaving the air heavy with the smell of roast meat, fried side dishes and seasoned collard greens.</p> <p>Dancers in a rainbow of sparkling bodysuits strutted down Central Avenue, their white knee-high boots kicking toward the sky to the rhythm of student marching bands from six states.</p> <p>Children played with bubble machines behind metal barriers and called out for beads from passing floats.</p> <p>Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays' mascot, danced atop an all-terrain vehicle as a nearby team float blasted hip-hop music.</p> <p>The Miami Central High School Marching Rockets swayed as they performed the music to Luther Vandross' Never too Much.</p> <p>Kim Colston and her husband, Dwight, of Tampa, waved from the sidewalk at the passing dignitaries, including actor and minister Clifton Davis, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who stood upright in a red, open-topped Jeep Wrangler.</p> <p>The Colstons wore matching black T-shirts depicting King and President Barack Obama, both winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, that she picked up at the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival.</p> <p>She said this year's holiday was special because her 5-year-old son, James, was beginning to pay attention to the impact of King's service.</p> <p>&quot;This is when he's going to really start remembering the meaning,&quot; she said.</p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:56:25