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Saturday, December 10, 2022

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39th Annual Winter Haven MLK Jr. Parade

39th Annual Winter Haven MLK Jr. Parade

by James Coulter

In his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his desire to see a country, “where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.”

Last Saturday, Winter Haven residents of all colors, both black and white, lived out those words of the famous civil rights leader as they marched through the streets in unity during the 39th Annual Winter Haven MLK Jr. Parade.

The parade started at 10 a.m. at City Hall, continued on along First Street and T Avenue, and ended at Hilltop Church of Christ.

Helping lead this year’s parade as the honorary grand marshal was Chris Blue, a local R&B artist who rose to national fame as the winner of the 12th season of NBC’s “The Voice.”

The parade consisted of more than two dozen floats from the fire and police departments, local churches, schools, and non-profit organizations including the Boy Scouts, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Interfaith Ministerial Alliance, and the Greater Winter Haven and Lake Ashton Democratic Clubs.

The parade also provided an opportunity for many local politicians to promote themselves and their causes, including Sarah Fortney for the local school board.

Providing music for this year’s parade were marching bands from Tampa Bay Tech and Buke High Schools, with several dance teams such as The Wolverettes from the E&D Dance Trope providing dance and cheerleading performances.

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