The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 15, brought the Tampa Bay community together to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy. The two-mile parade is the pinnacle of a week of activity dedicated to the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is in its 29th year as a commemorative, family friendly, fun experience for all in the Tampa Bay community. The event grows each year and draws artists and musicians from as far as Kingston, Jamaica to gather at Cuscaden Park in the City of Tampa.
Bike/Walk Tampa Bay members, including Board member Craig Fox, joined representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, the Tampa Downtown Partnership, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), the Center for Urban Transportation Research, the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Tampa Bay Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA), for the Tampa Bay Next parade unit to promote multi-modal transportation in the region.
The Tampa Bay Next parade unit included the Downtowner vehicle flanked by cyclists and walkers wearing bright yellow t-shirts, and were accompanied by the FDOT’s crash test dummy mascots. Led by a Tampa Bay Next program banner, the group handed out reflective armbands and snap bracelets to the thousands of people lining the streets.
Conversations about safe, accessible transportation are important to have as a community, and the parade is a joyous celebration and wonderful opportunity to talk to people about how they get around the city. “It was a great day,” said Lori Buck, Director of Public Involvement for the Florida Department of Transportation’s Tampa Bay Next Program.