Shaphon Greene, 29, sat on the back of her SUV with her three children Saturday morning waiting for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Palmetto.
“I like the music and the bands,” Greene said smiling.
But the parade was more than just watching the marching musicians, catching some candy or getting the kids out of the house for mom.
“We’ll talk about the history behind it later at home,” Greene said.
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Her son, Tyron, 7, was not as excited for the parade as the rest of his family, complaining he was hot. Saturday’s temperature climbed to 80 degrees, about 10 degrees above average for this time of year.
Bashful 5-year-old Taylor sat smiling as she waited for her favorite part: the candy.
People of all ages gathered along the streets of Palmetto to watch the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.
Patty Ramirez, 57, sat with her daughter, son and four grandchildren as they were growing impatient waiting for the parade to start in the warm weather.
“We got here around 10 a.m. because the city of Palmetto’s website said it started at 11 a.m.,” Ramirez said. “So we’ve been out here for a couple hours waiting, with kids.”
But they knew the parade, which was delayed about an hour, wouldn’t disappoint, having attended regularly over the years.
“The bands are great,” Ramirez said as her grandson interjected that he liked watching the Junior ROTC. “You see a lot of diversity, she added.”
But of course more importantly was that the parade honored King, who Ramirez said was a great man.
“It’s always been a family thing,” Ramirez said of coming to the parade. “I have two more kids, but they live in New York now, but they use to come with their kids, too.”
Blanca Trejo, 35, sat with her 13-year-old daughter as her sons, 7 and 11, played on the sidewalk, as they parade approached along Eighth Avenue West.
Trejo and her children have been coming to the parade for many years, she said in Spanish.
“I like it all,” Trejo said, unable to pick a favorite part of the parade. “They like the candy.”
Her children enjoy it as much as she does, she said.
This year, she was also looking forward to watching a family friend who would be marching in the parade with Palmetto High School, she said.
Parade float winners
First: Palmetto Youth Center: Trojans!
Second: St. John Missionary Baptist Church
Third: Girl Scouts