Battle of the Bands kicks off MLK events - FOX 13 News

Battle of the Bands kicks off MLK events

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When you think musical instruments in Tropicana Field, you probably think cowbells. But Sunday, there was a different tune being played at the home of the Rays.

The 28th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Battle of the Bands and Drumline Extravaganza once again invaded the Trop.

"For 28 years we've introduced the name Martin Luther King to those generations that were yet unborn so they know the man's name, they know what his legacy means," said event organizer Sevell Brown III.

The event featured 12 bands from all over Florida and from as far away as Augusta, Georgia to celebrate Dr. King and entertain the big crowd on hand.

"The music is very soulful, it's very ethnic. It's just a wonderful event," said Dorothy Johnson of St. Pete.

"This is one of the main events of the year, everybody looks forward to the MLK weekend," offered Christine Hayes of St. Pete.

Many of the bands featured younger musicians from middle schools.

The event is a long time tradition in St. Pete and there are people who come out to celebrate every year.

"It's a lot of fun, it's a lot of fun," said Hayes.

Monday, the MLK Drum Major for Justice Parade will take place in St. Pete, despite what you may have heard. Rumors flew around Saturday night and Sunday morning that the parade might not go on as planned.

Hayes, one of the organizers of the event, says she got a call on the subject late Saturday.

"She said, 'I heard the parade is canceled,'" said Hayes.

But rest assured the show is scheduled to go on, just like the Battle of the Bands, all in honor of the late civil rights leader.

"He's the drum major that died for us," said Brown.

Monday's parade will start at 11 a.m. at Dr. MLK Street and Third Avenue South in St. Pete.

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