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News Release

MLK Parade Impacts Downtown Traffic and Parking Monday

MLK Holiday & Legacy Association Presents the 31st Drum Major for Justice National Parade January 18

St. Petersburg, FL (January 15, 2016) - St. Petersburg hosts one of the largest Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday parades in the nation on Monday, January 18. During this year's 31st Annual MLK Drum Major for Justice National Parade, city traffic officials will make every effort to minimize inconvenience to motorists; however, traffic disruptions in downtown St. Petersburg can be anticipated between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St. at Third Ave. S., proceeds north to Central Ave., east along Central to Bayshore Drive and north to Fifth Ave. NE, disbanding into Vinoy and North Shore Parks.  

St. Petersburg Police encourage motorists to pre-plan their travel routes and to use streets west of 16th St. After 10:30 a.m., drivers wanting to cross First Ave. N., Central Ave. or First Ave. S., are advised to use 28th St., I-275, or streets further west.

City officials remind vendors that a valid occupational license and a one-time special event vending permit is required and all city vendor codes will be enforced for the parade on Monday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  In addition, vendor permits for push cart sales are suspended for sales on Monday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the area extending two blocks on either side of the parade route and within two blocks of the beginning and end points of the parade.

Parade organizers, the MLK Holiday and Legacy Association Inc., anticipate marching bands from throughout the southeastern U.S. will participate in this year's parade.

City traffic officials remind motorists and downtown visitors that parking will be restricted along the parade route beginning Sunday evening and barricade placement will begin as early as 1 a.m. on Monday morning. In addition, downtown residents should be aware that the Residential Parking Permits do not exempt holders from receiving citations or possible vehicle relocation during special events.

N E W  E v e n t
Immediately following the MLK Drum Major for Justice Parade, the public is invited to a new, free event. The MLK 2016 FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL will be held on the east side of Tropicana Field, Parking Lot 7A, approximately 2 to 7 p.m. on Monday, January 18. Enjoy free activities, games, live DJ music, entertainment, recording artists and a Car Show. Food vendors will offer items available for purchase. Free admission and parking in Tropicana Field Lot 6. The entrance is from 1st Ave. S. near 14th St. For more information or for vendors to register, call 727-321-7919.

Shuttle Services and Parking
The Central Avenue Trolley (CAT) will operate a slightly modified route on Monday, utilizing First Ave. N. (westbound) and Fourth Ave. N. (eastbound) to bypass the parade. Regular CAT trolley fares apply (50 cents per ride). There will be no service on Central Ave. between First St. and 16th St. until approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday and there will be no CAT service to the Beach Drive/Pier/Dolphin/parking lots until after the parade.

In addition to Central Ave., other roads affected on the CAT trolley route during the parade include MLK/9th St., Second Ave. N. and Bayshore Drive.

The Downtown Looper trolley will NOT be operating on January 18. City-owned downtown parking facilities, except the MSC garage, will be open for public parking to accommodate those wishing to enjoy the parade as well as other downtown activities and destinations.

The Sundial/Muvico Parking Garage (entrance at 117 Second St. N.) will offer the night, weekend and holiday rate of only $1 for four hours ($1 for each additional hour or partial hour; with a $7 maximum); while other facilities including the SouthCore Parking Garage (entrance at 101 First Ave. S.) offer normal rates including $1 per hour, also with a $7 maximum. The Al Lang Stadium Parking Lot, (southeast corner of First St. & First Ave. S.) offers a $5 flat rate for all-day; and both lots on the Pier Approach - the Beach Drive lot (formerly Dolphin) and the Pelican lot - offer a $3 flat rate for all-day parking.

For additional parking information, visit or a downtown parking and transportation map is available online at


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City of St. Petersburg
P.O. Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

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