TEMPLE TERRACE – If past Fourth of July festivities in a city known for its Hometown Americana appeal are any indication of what folks can expect this year, it’s bound to be a Yankee Doodle dandy kind of a day.
The Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce and the City of Temple Terrace have partnered once again to present the community’s 40th Annual Independence Day Celebration.
The parade, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., will be graced by the presence of University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft, who as grand marshal will take the lead position in a procession of close to 90 entrants to follow.
Fourth year parade chairman Tracy Holt, branch manager of PNC Bank in Temple Terrace, said there will be numerous floats represented by community service organizations, area businesses and youth organizations.
Parade goers can also look forward to being entertained by such groups as the Temple Terrace Highlanders bagpipe and drum band, the Temple Terrace Ballet and the Flawless Diamond Dance Troupe.
Matthew Roderick, 14, of Lutz, likely will also attract attention as he peddles the parade route on his unicycle, a skill he learned by determination and dedication.
“I would say that the key to being a good unicyclist is confidence, perseverance and Band-Aids,” he said.
Temple Terrace Mayor Frank Chillura, city council members and a handful of city officials will be waving and tossing beads into the crowd of onlookers. And because it’s an election year there also will be a number of political candidates pounding the pavement in pursuit of votes.
As in past years the parade will begin at Gillette Avenue and Whiteway Drive and travel south to Druid Hills Road. From there it will head west to Ridgedale Avenue, turn south and culminate at the Ridgedale Sports Complex.
“Temple Terrace knows how to produce a fantastic parade,” said City Manager Gerald Seeber. “The community participation is a great example of why our town is a treasured gem; plenty of spirit and plenty of shade along the tree-lined route for families to experience our amazing city.”
Following the parade David Bulluck of the Bulluck Law Group at 306 Bullard Parkway will host a community party for the third consecutive year.
Growing up in Temple Terrace he delighted in attending the parade but disliked the fact there was a large space of time between it and the city’s evening festivities that begin at 7 p.m.
To help bridge the gap he extends an open invitation to all area residents, including families with children.
Hot dogs, chips and cold drinks will be served under a large tent where there also will be activities for kids, including face painting.
Last year the event drew a crowd of about 2,000 people.
“It is costly, but it’s something I enjoy and it’s a way to give back to the community,” Bulluck said.
The evening’s merriment on the first tee of the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club at 200 Inverness Ave., is also being organized by the chamber in conjunction with the city.
There will be multiple vendors on hand selling a variety of treats including barbeque, hot dogs, French fries, funnel cakes and shaved ice.
Cypress Creek Dixieland Band will be there to entertain attendees as well as performers in Masque Theatre’s summer youth production of “The Music Man,” who will treat their audience to bits and pieces of the popular Broadway play slated to run in August at the Omar K. Lightfoot Center.
A $15,000 fireworks display — funded by the chamber through the sale of $100-each I Helped Light up the Sky yard signs plus a $2,500 contribution from the city — will get underway at 9:15 p.m.
“The biggest thing is that the city takes care of all the logistics for both the parade and the fireworks and if it wasn’t for the 100 percent participation from the city we wouldn’t be able to have either,” Holt said.
Chamber Chairman Jamie Klingman agreed.
“I’m thrilled that once again the city and the chamber have partnered to produce a full day of celebrations in honor of the Fourth of July,” she said. “We look forward to celebrating Independence Day with the Temple Terrace community.”
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]