For 37 years, the City of Temple Terrace has marked the Fourth of July with an annual parade and celebration. Many local businesses sponsor the parade and participate in the fun by throwing beads and waving to the crowd.
This year’s parade features more than 80 participants, including some businesses that will partake in the festivities for the first time, like this year’s top sponsor, Ward-Seaford Attorneys at Law.
Firm lawyer and longtime Temple Terrace resident Ken Ward has attended the parade as a spectator for many years, and he said he is looking forward to being part of the spectacle this time.
“It’s going to be fun to actually be a part of the parade this year,” he said. “I grew up here, played pee-wee sports here, and I went to King High School. I still live in Temple Terrace, and I love this city.”
Ward also joined the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce a few years ago.
“I really just wanted to help out with the cost and help the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “They have great people over there, and they do such good things for our city.”
Ward and his family will drive a decorated Ford-150 and will pass out koozies along with cold drinks like Gatorade and water.
“I figured that would be the best thing to give out to people on a hot day,” he said. “We will have a few big coolers full of ice and cold drinks, and having sat through the parade before, I thought the drinks would be very well received.”
Tampa Electric Company (TECO) will also be involved in the parade, as they are each year. TECO is one of the parade’s top sponsors.
“This is a part of our community outreach and a chance for us to connect with our customers and the people in the community that we serve,” said Cherie Jacobs, TECO media spokesperson.
A decorated TECO bucket truck will be in the parade, and employees will hand out beads along the route. According to TECO vice president of Human Resources Phil Barringer, the parade is a tradition the company has been a part of for years. TECO is also involved with nearby parades in Brandon and Lutz.
“All of these parades are just great community events where the people who live in these neighborhoods and the communities that we serve get to go out and meet each other and enjoy a great day in celebrating our country’s independence,” said Barringer.
Barringer is a former Temple Terrace resident himself, and he is still actively involved in the community.
“I lived in Temple Terrace for 10 years, and even though I’m not a resident now, my family continues to do everything there,” he said. “The city is not far from where we live now in Thonotosassa; Temple Terrace is still our town.”
For Barringer, July Fourth is also an opportunity to see old friends.
“I am really looking forward to seeing my friends and their children at the parade,” he said. “Some of these people I have known my entire life, and it’s going to be a lot of fun waving to everyone and seeing people from the community.”
The parade route is almost two miles long and begins at Whiteway Drive and Gillette Avenue at 10 a.m. It ends around noon.
Check back for more Independence Day-themed stories on Temple Terrace Patch as we count down the days to July 4!