Lutz Independence Day has tradition, flair

The atmosphere was festive as thousands converged on the community of Lutz to celebrate the Fourth of July, on a bright, sunshiny day.

A large crowd gathers along the parade route and watches as Canine Companions proceeds to downtown Lutz.
(Courtesy of Randy Underhill)

The event included a 5-K, a 1-mile fun run, a baking contest, a flag-raising ceremony, a baking contest and, the main attraction — a parade.

 

This Independence Day marked the nation’s 242 birthday, and was the 74th time that Lutz to celebrate.

Vendors were there early, along with a small display of antique farm tractors.

Hundreds of runners for the 5-K and for 1-mile fun run were there early, too, warming up for their races.

The color guards for Boy Scout Troop 12 and the Civil Air Patrol presided over the flag-raising ceremony in front of the Lutz Branch Library.

Jennifer Rankin, right, swears in Domenic DiFante as the new Honorary Guv’na of Lutz, on the platform of the Lutz Train Depot.

People set up their chairs and blankets along the parade route, or sat on the bleachers across from the library.

And, the colors of the day were red, white and blue.

Parade-watchers had plenty to see in a fun-filled, parade that lasted nearly two hours and boasted 63 entries this year.

Vehicles drove by, with flashing lights and sirens, and parade participants tossed candy and beads to the delight of children along the route.

The stage of Lutz’s Train Depot building was the setting for annual changing of the guard, as last year’s Honorary Guv’na Kori Rankin passed along the coveted sash to Domenic DiFante, this year’s winner.

This year, the fundraiser brought in more than $13,600 in donations.

The cake auction was a big hit, as the 22 entries — including cakes, cupcakes and a 5-pound apple pie — fetched bids ranging from $25 to $125.

The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club, Inc., the Lutz Civic Association and several local businesses sponsored this year’s celebration.

By Randy Underhill

Published July 11, 2018

Grandmother Luz Breton, of Lutz, holds onto 2-year-old Eva Jimeno, as 7-year-old Sofia Caban, 4-year-old Bella Jimeno, and 4-year-old Victoria Caban, watch the parade and hope for candy and beads to be tossed their way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top bidder for the Army Truck cake was June Mussleman, who won with a bid of $25. The cake was created by Sarah Robison, age, 15, of Lutz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Delaney, age 9, a Trinity Oaks student, sits atop an antique Ford tractor as grandpa Rohn Harmer,75, stands by. Both grandpa and grandson took part in the run, with Andrew placing third in the 1-mile run.

Brian Zebrowski, of Lutz, hands his 6-year-old daughter, Gabriella, a treat from the Atomic Trolle, while 4-year-old Tre’Anna Harrison and grandmother Michelle Bollman,owner of the treat mobile, look on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flag-raising ceremony was conducted by the color guards of Boy Scout Troop 12 and the Civil Air Patrol, Carmen Rae singing the Star Spangled Banner, in front of the Lutz Branch Library during the Lutz Independence Day festivities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The start of the 8 a.m. 5-K run heading west on Lutz Lake Fern Rd. There were 337 runners in the 5-K and 108 runners in the 1-mile run. Sixteen-year-old Jake Turner, from Brandon won the 5-K with a time of 16:20.

 

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