No matter how profound the cause, a packed Martin Luther King Jr. parade in COVID-19 times is a no-go for the City of St. Petersburg.
“COVID has forced us to do a lot of things differently than we’ve done before, this is no different,” Ben Kirby, St. Petersburg Communications Director, said. “Public health is our number one piriority.”
In an effort to avoid the crowds, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Big 2021 Celebration, hosted by Advantage Village Academy and sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg, will mainly be celebrated online throughout the holiday weekend, Friday, January 15 through Monday, January 18.
The traditional MLK banquets and an interactive “history hunt” will all be online, as will the weekend’s typical highlight – the parade.
How, exactly, do you have a virtual parade?
There will be no beads or floats, but the hour-long, pre-recorded parade presentation will consist of interviews from regional and city officials such as Congressman Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin.
“We want this to be fun for the kids,” Toriano Parker, CEO of Advantage Village Academy, said, “not just long clips of talking. I want it to be interactive and draw them in, which may be tough this year.”
Intermingled will be previous St. Petersburg MLK parade footage and stand out clips from Advantage Village Academy.
“I think it will be a lot more appreciated this year,” St. Petersburg Director of Urban Affairs Nikki Gaskin-Capehart said. “It’s really going to honor Dr. King and his legacy.”
MLK Day Virtual Celebrations
Check out all the events at mlkdreambig.com.
Friday, January 15, 7:30 p.m.: Virtual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet.
Sunday, January 17, 5 p.m.: Dream Big Creative Dance Showcase at the Campbell Park Field. This will be a socially distant event with limited attendance. The performance will be recorded and accessible at the link below.
Sunday, January 17, 7:30 p.m.: Virtual Youth Awards Banquet.
Monday, January 18, 11 a.m.: Dream Big Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Virtual Parade
Monday, January 18, 1 p.m.: MLK Day of Service History Hunt