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