The Martin Luther King Dare to Dream Association Inc. gave people a reason to get up and do something different for the MLK holiday by participating in the 3rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dare to Dream Festival at Cascade Park.
Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, Cumulus Broadcasting, The City of Tallahassee, and CRA, were involved in the festival.
This year’s theme was “ Celebrating Service…Empowered by Change.” Different organizations including Florida A&M University’s Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, SISTUHS Incorporated, and NCNW participated in the services around the festival.
Kenneth Pratt, director of Community Service for Dare to Dream Association Inc., said the festival improves and grows every year.
“I have seen quite a bit of evolution,” Pratt said. “The main piece being the partnership with the City of Tallahassee. With the theme this, year we tried to focus on celebrating the dream while also making a change in your community.”
Larry Jones, a senior health care management student from Dallas, said working with his organization on this holiday brought a new meaning to service for him.
“MLK holiday is a day to remember Dr. King’s dream and to live out your own dream,” Jones said. “Giving back to my community is a dream that I always try to live out but especially on this day.”
The festival consisted of live music from local artists, food and jewelry vendors, theatrical performances from youth around Tallahassee, and historical exhibits by the FAMU Meek-Eaton Black Archives and the Riley House.
J. Kelly, a local artist, performed an inspirational rap about being the change in the community.
“We have to live out Dr. King’s dream and be the change,” Kelly sang.
A spacious “DREAM” board was placed at the top of the hill by the food vendors for people to jot down their dreams and inspirational words. Thousands of quotes and signatures covered the board until it was completely covered.
John Brinkley, a Bond Elementary School student, helped his sister think of some motivational words to put on the board.
“My favorite thing about the festival is the DREAM sign because I get to leave a message for other people to see,” Brinkley said.
Pratt thinks that the festival gathers people together to help them realize what the real meaning of this holiday is. He hopes the service aspect of the festival helps people come together and act in unity just as Dr. King wanted.
“I hope next year the festival gets bigger and more people take the holiday as a day on and not a day off,” Pratt said.