Dunbar prepares to celebrate 80th annual Easter Parade Celebration

Reporter: Ashley French
Published: Updated:

Easter Sunday is a big celebration for communities across Southwest Florida. 

The Dunbar community is prepared to celebrate its 80th annual Easter Parade Celebration on Sunday, March 31st. 

An annual celebration that is a sample in the Fort Myers community that started back in 1945. 

A time were most communities were segregated due to segregation. 

Dunbar at that time was predominantly black area and wanted to celebrate Easter in a way the community felt connected to. 

80 years later the event grew into a community tradition with over a thousand people from across the state come to Dunbar to enjoy the Easter Day experience. 

Martin Byrd, President of the Dunbar Festival Committee, says he grew up attending the event and now has had numerous opportunities to work with others in putting together one of the biggest Easter celebrations of the year. 

“It’s to the level that the community members are happy, older, younger middle age we have something for everybody,” said Byrd. People come back home just for this one experience. to enjoy this event and share the memories they had as kids with their children.” 

Byrd says this year’s 80th celebration will feature two HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) which are Edward Waters University from Jacksonville and Florida Memorial University from Miami Gardens. 

Byrd also adds he expects 5,000 attendees to show up with over 60 organizations that include churches and schools to be represented in this year’s parade. Parade attendees can expect several other activities for the community to enjoy. 

“This was a historically black thing but it has morphed into a Fort Myers event,” said Byrd.

 I want to make sure that everyone in our city knows that they should come and they will enjoy themselves and they all be welcomed.” 

The parade will begin at a 4-way intersection of Ford Street and Dr, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. 

The parade lineup begins at noon and kicks off at 3 p.m. Organizers do advise attendees to get there an hour or hour and a half early to secure a spot. 

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