The Plant City MLK Festival is back with fun
Once again, it’s time to bring out the masses to a lively and fun-filled downtown Plant City.
Now in its 36th year, the Plant City Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Arts Festival is promised to do just that.
This year’s theme is entitled ‘Our Community’s Will to Survive and Thrive.’
The opening ceremony will be on Friday, Jan. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center, 302 S. Maryland Ave. in Plant City.
From January 7 to January 17, all are welcome to take a selfie tour of historic African American sites in Plant City. This includes the Bing Rooming House Museum, the Samuel W. Cooper Park, and the Marie B. Ellis Park.
On Saturday, Jan. 8, the community center will offer a host of amenities and performances.
Starting at 11 a.m., vendors will offer a variety of food. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., middle school and high school drumline teams will compete during the Battle of the Bands.
Also live music is sure to amplify throughout downtown starting at 4 p.m.
And of course, there will be the main attraction of the day – the parade from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. It will consist of numerous bands, floats as well as the Million Dollar Corvette Posse Stroll.
The parade will begin at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Wheeler Street. It finishes at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Maryland Avenue.
On Friday, Jan. 14, all are welcome to the Unity Night – History After Hours event touring the diverse shops of downtown. This will be on Evers Street at 6 p.m.
Folks can be further educated on staying fit during a health fair on Saturday, Jan. 15. at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event will feature health care providers with tips, healthy foods to sample, presentations, as well as screenings for blood pressure and diabetes.
And, for those in attendance who can, they’re encouraged to take a 2k walk passing by the Historic Lincoln, Marie B. Ellis, and Sam Cooper parks; the Allen Chapel, Mount Moriah, and Saint Luke churches; and the Bing Rooming House Museum.
On Sunday, Jan. 16, a Martin Luther King Leadership Breakfast will be held with the keynote speaker, Major Anthony Collins of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Awards and scholarships will also be presented. It begins at 7:30 a.m. at Hillsborough Community College – Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Rd. in Plant City. The event is reserved for those who already purchased tickets.
For those who are still in a lively mood, there will be the Gospel Extravaganza on Sunday, Jan. 16 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will be held at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center.
And on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, Jan. 17, the Bing Rooming House Museum will hold a day of service for local veterans. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum is located at 205 S. Allen St., in Plant City.
For a list of historical sites to visit, or for any further information, call (813) 704-5800 or (813) 719-7943. Also visit www.PlantCityMLKFestival.com.