Tampa celebrates 125 years



Rains slowed but didn?t deter residents or out-of-town visitors in Tampa Saturday as they celebrated the town?s 125th birthday.

The theme, ?125 Years on the Trail,? brought hundreds of people to take part in the festivities.

The day started early with the Tampa Rut Run and 2-mile run/walk at the city ball diamonds.

Spectators and participants alike were not hindered by the light rain that fell during the parade down Main Street.

More than 100 people watched the Wedding Dress Review in the Senior Center with about a dozen women modeling older and newer dresses worn by Tampa brides.

Carole Spohn, one of the committee members, said the wedding dress review was considered a success from what she heard.

Featured dresses in the review, she said, included Tillie Hein?s dress, which was worn 84 years ago, and another dress from Alma Bentz.

The H.F.K. Mueller family, in addition to winning the family float competition in the parade, met for a family reunion.

TampaCelebrationInside ?Dale and Marla Mueller came from Folsom, Calif., and Debbie Beard from Colorado,? she said. ?I never got beyond directing traffic for the tractor show and helping my husband with it. We got lots of positive comments on the parade.?

Afternoon entertainment was provided by Alice Thomas and the Alex Stuchlik Polka Band and Sisters of Hope.

By late afternoon, participants in the horseshoe competition continued to play as many were drenched in the downpour.

Committee member Carla Hajek said she heard the vintage wedding dress review was something people liked.

?The horseshoe tournament was a big hit with 20 teams,? she said, ?and we all thought the parade was a huge success.?

At the ball diamond and new park were softball games and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Throughout the day, wagon rides, arts and crafts vendors, door prizes, games for children, a medallion hunt and food and beverages were available.

The Tampa State Bank parade entry won the grand prize.

In the antique vehicles category, first place went to Dan Magahaz and second to Dennis Dillon.

Commercial entry winners were: first place to Berens Woodworking and second to Lang Diesel Inc.

In the family category, first went to the H.F.K. Mueller Family and second to the Bill Schwartzman family.

In the heritage/historical entries, first went to Leroy Schmidt and the covered wagon, and second to the California Sisters.

The first-place float went to the Tampa Triple Ts 4-H Club and second to St. John?s Lutheran Church of Tampa.

In the children?s category, first went to Addie Berens and Megan Bielefeld and second to Sydney Smith, who was Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz, complete with her little dog and sign: ?There?s No Place Like Tampa.?

In the tractor rodeo games, winners in the slowest tractor category included first place to Kenny Backhus and second to John Hajek.

In the wagon-backing competition, Brad Backhus took first and John Hajek second. In balloon pop, John Hajek was first and Brad Backhus second. The barrel roll saw Brad Backhus claim first and Tyler Bentz second.

Other awards included the oldest tractor, a 1935 F20 Inter?national owned by Jim Bern?hardt. Most tractors in the show went to Paul Backhus and the youngest participant was Tyler Bentz. Dave Frantz took the people?s choice award.

Deb Hall was the medallion hunt winner in the adult division and Cailey Barney won in the children?s.

Committee members for the 125th celebration included Gary and Carole Spohn, Tom and Dee Duggan, Michele Berens, Amber Peterson, Kathy Davis, Connie McMahan, Betty Mueller, Chris Costello and Carla Hajek.

At the end of the day, Hajek said, everyone enjoyed seeing a double rainbow. Spohn said it was a ?wonderful day.?

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