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Martin Luther King Jr. parade in St. Petersburg not canceled, despite rumors

6:22 AM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Organizers want to make sure everyone knows the annual National Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Parade has not been canceled, despite text messages, emails, and calls sent out telling people it was.

The Battle of the Bands event was held Sunday at Tropicana Field. According to organizers, they saw a solid turnout, but believe they may have had a larger turnout if not for the rumors.

"Based on what we've heard, people were getting phone calls as late as last night about the rumor, the hoax, that everything is canceled in St. Petersburg," said national coordinating founder Sevell Brown III.

According to Brown, even staff at the Trop thought the event was a no-go. This marks the third year in a row the hoax happened. he said. He believes someone or some people have been doing it to try to lower attendance at the events.  Brown is not sure why.

Christine Hayes, one of the event commissioners, said she heard about the rumor after a friend called her last night. "She said, 'I heard the parade is canceled for Monday.' I say, 'Not that I know of,'" she said.

But the hiccup did not stopping the Battle of the Bands, which was aimed at keeping Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy alive, by grabbing the younger generation with beats.

"I love coming. Just like to see the people perform and the Martin Luther King spirit," said one event-goer.

"I'm having a real good time, and enjoying my kids today," said Cortin Woods.

Organizers said they won't let these rumors get in the way. "We just keep praying. I think more people want it than there is that don't want it. So we're just going to keep on chugging along," said Hayes.

The parade is set for Monday at 11 am. It starts at 3rd Avenue South and MLK Street and ends at Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg. 

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