The City of Tampa’s Dr. Martin Luther King Day Parade has been an annual event for nearly 30 years. Begun as a walk to City Hall, the parade has grown in attendance and size over the years and is rapidly becoming one of the premiere parade events in the country. The parade has moved to different locations around the city as it has grown but has settled in its present location more recently in response to the community’s suggestion that the parade traverse Martin Luther King Blvd. in honor of his life and legacy.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Parade Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit, was formed in the year 2014 for the expressed purposes of expanding, improving and strengthening efforts to make the City of Tampa’s Martin Luther King Day Parade an event the city could be proud of year after year. Founder and Foundation President Robert Scott Jr. started his involvement with planning and implementing the city’s annual parade as a city employee and key member of the City of Tampa-Hillsborough County Employees MLK Memorial Scholarship Fund organization. Upon his retirement from the city, and with the encouragement of former parade organizers, Mr. Scott took over the coordination of all parade activities and started the Parade Foundation to provide a permanent infrastructure for planning and funding the parade, while building an organization that would be capable of putting on an outstanding event on a consistent basis.
Honoring the roots of the organization the Parade Foundation sets aside a portion of its proceeds to provide scholarship funding to a diverse set of deserving high school students. Support for education is a mission intricately tied to the mission of the Parade Foundation and the plan is to continue championing this cause while honoring the legacy of one of our greatest American heroes.
Another goal for the Parade Foundation is to grow the parade into an event that has lasting positive community impact. As such, the Foundation has initiated the MLK “Year of Service” wherein the Foundation will coordinate with various community organizations to sponsor service projects year-round, not just on or immediately before the parade and holiday.
Finally, the City of Tampa Martin Luther King parade winds through the heart of vibrant and ethnically diverse communities and we are most proud of sponsoring an event that demonstrates the spirit, strength, and beauty of Tampa from the parade patrons to the bands, floats, businesses and community groups represented among the parade entries. Thanks for visiting our website and we look forward to seeing you on Martin Luther King Day!!