Make us your home page

FAMU band, Jameis Winston tapped for new St. Pete MLK parade

The new organizers of St. Petersburg's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade have booked the high-stepping Florida A&M University marching band and tapped Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston as grand marshal for the Jan. 16 event. The parade will also follow a new route this year.

The only hitch: Winston could be at an away game if the NFL playoff schedule works out a certain way.

"I really want the Bucs to keep winning," said Rosita Hubbard, parade organizer and executive secretary of Advantage Village Academy, "but I don't want a West Coast game to take him out of town."

The new parade has been renamed the MLK Dream Big Parade and organizers have added a block party along the 22nd Street S corridor to welcome Florida A&M on Jan. 15 and a family-friendly party after the parade on Jan. 16.

FAMU's famed "Marching 100" Rattlers band, one of the most notable marching bands in college history, will headline the parade. They performed Purple Rain with Prince for the 2007 Super Bowl halftime show in Miami, and at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The band is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year with more than 420 members. Hubbard said she worked especially hard to lock in FAMU, "because our theme this year is promoting collegiate futures."

In November, the city parted ways with longtime organizer Sevell Brown III after his financial interests in the parade came under scrutiny. Brown built the parade over the past 30 years into one of the largest MLK parades in the Southeast.

The city instead awarded the parade to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Pinellas, Advantage Village Academy and Toriano Parker.

The new parade route is essentially the reverse of the route used over the past 30 years. It will start on Central Avenue near Bayshore Drive, but this year will skip over to First Avenue S via Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S and end across from Tropicana Field.

The reason, Hubbard said, was to allow organizers to hold a Family Fun Day from 2:30 to 8 p.m. at Tropicana Field with kids' activities, entertainment and service programs.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

FAMU band, Jameis Winston tapped for new St. Pete MLK parade 12/13/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 9:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mandarin Hide celebrates 7 years serving craft cocktails in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits


    With its mascot, a mounted buffalo head named Manny, decked out in streamers and a shiny party hat, the Mandarin Hide celebrated seven years of serving cocktails on Central Avenue last Thursday night.

    Mandarin Hide’s mascot, a buffalo head named Manny, donned streamers and a shiny party hat as the bar celebrated seven years of serving cocktails last week.
  2. Taste test: pepper jack cheese

    Taste Test

    Even though autumn sometimes misses Florida altogether, this time of year sends our panelists searching for comfort foods. They also like to spice things up a bit while they sip pumpkin-flavored coffees and apple ciders. One thing that definitely adds a kick to meals or snacks is spicy cheese. This week, we sampled 15 …

  3. Review: Cast up to the challenge in Richey Suncoast's 'How the Other Half Loves'


    Theater has many plays where there are two completely different apartments depicted on the stage, usually split down the middle, one on the right, one on the left.

    "How the Other Half Loves" runs weekends through Oct. 29 at Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey. Cast members are Christine Stoll and  David Daly (in front) and Bob Marcela, Heather Clark, Mike Worssell and Blake Parker (in back, from left). [Photo by Jess Glass]
  4. Review: Excellent cast delivers entertaining production of 'Young Frankenstein' at Stage West


    I went to see the musical comedy Young Frankenstein at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill with some trepidation. I had seen a very good production of the show at another theater a couple of years ago, and I was concerned that I would subconsciously compare the two to the detriment of one or the …

    "Young Frankenstein" plays weekends through Oct. 29 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Keith Surplus, left, performs as Igor and Lynda Dilts-Benson, right, as Frau Blucher. [Photo by Carol Ballard]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Oct. 23-29


    R. L. Stine: It's fitting that the week before Halloween, USF's Lecture Series features the popular horror author known for the Goosebumps series. Stine will discuss his career, creative process and sign books Wednesday at the Marshall Student Center in Tampa. Free. .

    ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 09: Singer Anthony Hamilton performs onstage at the 2014 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at the Phillips Arena on August 9, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Ford Neighborhood Awards)