In its 34th year, St. Petersburg’s “MLK DREAM BIG” PARADE is the nation’s longest-running parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2016, SCLC chose Toriano Parker and Advantage Village Academy to bring a fresh direction to the historic St. Petersburg event, ensuring it would continue to celebrate the vision of Dr. King with a new generation.

On Jan. 16, 2017, Advantage Village Academy (AVA) brought the rebranded 32nd Annual “MLK DREAM BIG” PARADE to a new route running west along 1st Avenue South starting at 3rd Street – as well as holding the inaugural “MLK DREAM BIG” 2018 FAMILY FUN DAY FESTIVAL at Tropicana Field.

Conceived to bring parents, children, caregivers, and youth together with community organizations and presenters, FAMILY FUN DAY expands St. Pete’s celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National holiday through hands-on play, learning, and workshops.


Founded in 2007 by Toriano Parker, Advantage Village Academy is a 501(c)3 organization providing educational and wealth-building programs for youth and adults, including tutoring programs, after and before school care, summer camps, GED prep, internships, and entrepreneur development.

Primarily targeting the Melrose and Jordan Park neighborhoods, AVA seeks to empower the area’s economically disadvantaged residents with training and financial literacy workshops to help pave the way for greater generational wealth, income, and security.

With a commitment to community transformation and uplift, AVA has also offered marquis projects including the “MLK DREAM BIG” PARADE and FAMILY FUN DAY FESTIVAL at Tropicana Field, as well as the ANNUAL PINK BOW TIE GALA for Cancer Awareness. Continuing to building relationships and engage community stakeholders, AVA has partnered with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Pinellas County school system, the City of St. Petersburg, Healthy St. Pete, St. Petersburg College (SPC), Pinellas Technical College (PTC), St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD), Marreese Speights Foundation, Walmart, Chick-fil-A, Publix, McDonald’s, and Visit St. Pete-Clearwater.