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The Annual Dare to Dream Festival unites Tallahassee

By Stacey Ragin
On January 22, 2017



It was about coming together at a time when unity is desperately needed.


Perhaps that explains why hundreds descended on Cascades Park for the second year in a row on Monday, for the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dare to Dream festival.


“People, particularly during this very difficult political time, are still interested in finding ways to come together,” Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said.


The festival, which was preceded by a march from C.K. Steele Plaza to Cascades, celebrates King’s birthday and commemorates his powerful legacy.


King delivered the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which the festival is named after, over 53 years ago during the March on Washington. Many attendees felt Dr. King’s message is just as important today as it was in the past.


The festival included live talent, over 25 food vendors, retailers, face painting and bounce houses. The festivities gave attendees of all ages something to participate in.


Along with the variety of fun activities that were available, there were also many organizations offering their services and enlisting volunteers so that they can continue to help the community in the way that Dr. King dreamt about.


“I love that people are choosing to make this a ‘day on’ for Dr. King and not a day off,” said Mayor Gillum, “it just so happens that it just reemphasizes the message of unity, which I love.”


Representatives from the Tallahassee chapter of the largest black motorcycle club, the Buffalo Soldiers, attended the event in hopes to spread their knowledge of the very influential Buffalo Soldiers Army regiment whom they took their name from.


“It’s for the people… The entertainment and also they tell you the history of Martin Luther King Jr also… so all that is a good gathering,” representative of the group, Rodrick Allen said, explaining why his organization saw importance in attending.


The Literacy Volunteers of Leon County were also in attendance, looking to enlist volunteers to help them continue to impact the city of Tallahassee.


“Dr. King’s work embraces everything… Anyone who is trying to lift everyone in the country up together, that’s the spirit that we want to be a part of,” Library Special Services Coordinator Alden Field said.


As the Dare to Dream festival grows, the city of Tallahassee hopes to continue to use it as an instrument to help bring all people together toward a common goal of unity and the betterment of the city, falling into accordance with Dr. King’s dream.


The event coordinators did their part once again, to create an event that people were excited to attend and were also able to learn why Dr. King is still celebrated today.



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