By Kyle LoJacono
The 63rd Lutz Independence Day Celebration at Bullard Park continued the traditional gathering of people from across the town and surrounding communities.
The highlight of the event was the naming of the new Lutz Guv’na, which is Stephanie Ensor. Ensor has lived in Lutz for 15 years and was sworn in with one hand on a copy of “Green Eggs and Ham” as is tradition. She was also given the Guv’na hat and key to the town of Lutz for the next year.
“I’m really excited,” Ensor said. “I really wanted to get involved with something that was bigger than myself that would help the community.”
Ensor is the winner because her campaign for the position brought in the most money for area charities. Colin Cook, of Land O’ Lakes, finished second. An accurate total of the amount raised was not available by press time.
Departing Guv’na Suzin Carr was not quite ready to give up the sash and title. She had a duplicate sash made that she gave to Ensor before revealing her trick by pulling off the first of two shirts she was wearing. Underneath was the true Guv’na sash.
“The last year has been the highlight of my life,” Carr said. “I wanted to support local businesses and our community and I got to meet a lot of great people doing it.”
Ensor said of succeeding Carr, “She’s been incredible with everything she’s done the last year. I just want to keep the momentum going.”
The day also included a 5K race, local vendors selling various foods and holiday related items, a parade and a cake bake contest and auction.
The parade had floats from groups like the scouts, youth sports organizations, churches, politicians and the Lutz Patriots.
The award for the most patriotic float in the parade went to the Lutz Patriots. The most comical float went to the Lutz Civic Association’s Lutz Tea Party interpretation. The judge’s favorite went Boy Scout Troop 86 for their costumes.
The cake that went for the most money was baked by Lutz teenager Alexa Gardner, which sold for $55.
“It’s a red velvet cake,” Gardner said. “It’s called Southern Pride Magnolia Cake. It won first place for the Guv’na’s favorite and Judges’ favorite.”
All the money went to the Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Women’s Club, which will use the money to fund local charities like the Boys and Girls scouts and scholarships for area children.