Founders’ Day Parade returns

The 112th Founder’s Day Parade rolled down Fifth Avenue highlighting a day-long celebration of the city’s incorporation.

It’s been two years since Main Street Zephyrhills hosted the parade and festivities. The 2021 event was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s celebration was cancelled because of a scheduling conflict with the Annual Pigz n’ Zhills BBQ and Blues Festival.

But the event made a triumphant return with vendors, music and the parade downtown. The big difference from previous parades was this year’s event was held at night. Crowds were by no means at historic levels, but it is a start.

“It’s special, it’s community and it’s the hometown experience,” said Main Street Executive Director Erin Beasley. “People come out and they value where they live.”

Judges Madonna Wise, Erica Freeman and Amanda Eskelund picked their winner of this year’s parade with Kids Corner capturing Best of Show. West Zephyrhills Elementary won Best Theme, Zephyrhills Little League, Best Costume, Zephyrhills High School Marching Band, Best Walking Unit, Zephyrhills Sanitation and Utilities, Best Vehicles, Civil Air Patrol, Best Club and the Zephyrhills News, Best Business.

The Zephyrhills Historical Museum opened the celebration with an Open House at the Depot Museum.

“It takes the board and a lot of people to make this happen and we’re proud of what we were able to do today,” Beasley said.

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