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Tampa Bay events celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

We’ve got a look ahead at some for Black History Month, too.
Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival dancers perform during the Martin Luther King Parade in Tampa in 2022. Celebrations for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday and Tampa Bay Black History Month begin Jan. 5.
Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival dancers perform during the Martin Luther King Parade in Tampa in 2022. Celebrations for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday and Tampa Bay Black History Month begin Jan. 5. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jan. 5|Updated Jan. 14

Here are 21 local events that will honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who would have turned 94 on Jan. 15, and a look ahead at some for Black History Month, which is in February. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 16.

Plant City MLK Day: Parade and More: The day begins with live music at 11:30 a.m., followed by a parade at 1 p.m., a drumline battle at 2:30 and more live music at 4. Free. 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Jan. 14. The parade starts at Wheeler and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, heads east on MLK and ends at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center.

Pedal your way through Black history on a St. Petersburg Black History Bike Tour.
Pedal your way through Black history on a St. Petersburg Black History Bike Tour. [ Katee Morales ]

St. Petersburg Black History Bike Tour: Local historian Josette Green combines biking and education on this 5-mile looping tour that covers the fascinating history of St. Petersburg’s African American residents. Free. 9 a..m.-1 p.m. Jan. 14. Chief’s Creole Cafe, 901 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-503-4736.

MLK Dream Big Weekend: Music and Art Festival: Indulge your tastes with local vendors, live music and the arts. Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 14. Albert Whitted Park, 480 Bayshore Drive SE, St. Petersburg. 727-893-7441.

Silent MLK Party: Put on a pair of headphones and choose from your favorite R&B or hip-hop channel. $15. 9 p.m. Jan. 14. Aloft Tampa Downtown, 100 W Kennedy Blvd. 813-898-8000.

MLK Day Parade Dade City: The parade will proceed from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Seventh Street, then Meridian, then Sixth Street, ending at the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center (Pasco County Circuit Court Building). Participants meet at Rodney B. Cox Elementary School. Free. 10 a.m. Jan. 14. 37615 Martin Luther King Blvd., Dade City. 727-774-5100.

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Music Festival: The 23rd annual festival features music by Dru Hill, Siobhan Monique and Just Aaron (Saturday) and Jazz Funk Soul, Sarene and more (Sunday). $12-$200. 1-9 p.m. Jan. 14-15. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. 813-274-8615.

Plant City MLK Day: Leadership Breakfast: There will be keynote speeches, awards and scholarships. 7:30-9 a.m. Jan. 15. Trinkle Center, Hillsborough Community College Plant City, 1206 N Park Road, Plant City. 813-757-2180.

MLK Dream Big Weekend: Band Showcase: Enjoy the precision drumlines and roaring brass sections from the top marching bands in the country. Free. 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 15. Campbell Park Recreation Center, 601 14th St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-893-7733.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Breakfast: Join the Tampa Black Organization of Black Affairs for the 43rd Annual MLK Leadership Breakfast. $50. 6:45-9 a.m. Jan. 16. JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, 510 Water St. 813-221-4950.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards Breakfast: Celebrate the 37th annual “A Vision of Eternal Hope”-themed breakfast. $65-$650. 7:30-9:30 a.m. Jan. 16. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 727-892-5202.

Dancers with the St. Pete Diamond Prima Donna perform during the 2022 MLK Dream Big Parade to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,
Dancers with the St. Pete Diamond Prima Donna perform during the 2022 MLK Dream Big Parade to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]

MLK Dream Big Weekend: MLK Day Parade: Bring friends and family to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with walking units, bands and mobile units. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 16. The parade travels east to west on First Avenue S in St. Petersburg.

MLK Dream Big Weekend: Family Fun Day: All ages can enjoy live music, bounce houses and vendors. Free. 2:30-6 p.m. Jan. 16. Lot 4, Tropicana Field, 198 17th St. S, St. Petersburg.

City of Tampa Martin Luther King Parade: The parade includes floats, marching bands, equestrian groups and decorated vehicles. Free. Noon Jan. 16. Starts at Cuscaden Park, 2901 N 15th St., Tampa. mlkjrparade.com.

MLK Day Plant City: Health Fair: Learn all about health before a 2K walk through Lincoln Park. Free. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 21. Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center, 1601 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Plant City. 813-659-4253.

TBBHF: College and Career Conversation: Middle and high school students can get their resume together and learn how to pitch themselves to colleges and employers. Free. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 28. Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan Inc., 5508 N 50th St., Tampa. 813-626-4926.

Sangria and Stories: Tampa’s NFL History: Curator of Black history Fred Hearns discusses the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ early years with reflections from his book “It’s Your Move!” and Jason Vuic’s “The Yucks: Two Years in Tampa With the Losingest Team in NFL History.” $20. 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 2. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St., Tampa. 813-228-0097.

Central Ave. West Walking Tour: Curator of Black history Fred Hearns leads this tour with stops at the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church Historic Building, the historical marker for Historic Harlem Academy School/School #2, the graves of enslaved Africans in Oaklawn Cemetery, the former site of Beulah Baptist Church, the International Longshoremen’s Association Local #1402 Building (former Tampa Branch of the NAACP Office), Kid Mason Community Center and 813 Short Emery Street, where Ray Charles made his first recording. Sold out. 10 a.m. Feb. 4. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St., Tampa. 813-228-0097.

Florida Conversations Voices of Carver City/Lincoln Gardens: Lisa Armstrong, Ph.D., shares stories and research from her quest to uncover the history of Carver City/Lincoln Gardens. Armstrong uses ethnographic research methods to gain insight into Black experiences and perspectives from this small but important historically Black neighborhood in Tampa. Free. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St., Tampa. 813-228-0097.

Prayer Breakfast: The Daughters of Harram Court No. 96 host the “Fill My Cup: Ephesians 3:19″-themed breakfast. 9 a.m. Feb. 18. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 2200 N Oregon Ave., Tampa. 813-361-4539.

Living History Saturday: The History of Rogers Park: Hear about the historic Rogers Park Golf Course and its service to the Black community as told by Lionel Ballard, a West Tampa native and outreach coordinator for First Tee of Tampa Bay. Included with admission. Noon-3 p.m. Feb. 25. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St., Tampa. 813-228-0097.

Black History Month Reception: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks will share the story that led to a 14-year Hall of Fame career. During the reception, the 2023 Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. Award for the Preservation of Black History and Heritage will be presented to this year’s distinguished honoree. $75. 5:30-9 p.m. Feb. 24. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St., Tampa. 813-228-0097.