Wish bike fest a happy 10th anniversary
Expect a bigger turnout than usual at Saturday's Bike Fest.
Up to 5,000 motorcycles are expected to rumble into downtown's historic district to mark the 10-year anniversary of the monthly extravaganza. Awards will be given in more than a dozen judging categories. More than $1,000 worth of prizes will be raffled.
The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce organized Bike Fest in an effort to promote the downtown area and benefit merchants. The event has grown yearly, and while attendance was down slightly in the summer, organizers expect a fall rebound.
Bike Fest runs from 5 to 9 p.m.
Pavilions finished at festival grounds
Workers completed construction this week on the two pavilions that flank the Evelyn and Batista Madonia Sr. Agricultural Show Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 12.
Festival organizers started building the steel and concrete structures in March to house livestock and plants featured during the annual 11-day festival.
"This is something the agricultural community always wanted and something that was really needed," festival spokeswoman KeeLee Tomlinson said.
One wing will house swine, steer and dairy cows. The other will contain chickens, rabbits and flowers. The pavilions will be named for two farming families that aided the project — the Astins and the Swindles. Both are expected to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which starts at 1 p.m.
'Strawberry' tower to be spruced up
The iconic "strawberry" tower is getting a much-needed renovation.
Utilities Department director Frank Coughenour said the 150-foot water tower at Cherry Street and Wilder Road will get repainted in about six months. The tower's red and green colors are fading and it needs spot repairs on the inside as well. The tower was last serviced in 2004.
The utilities department also plans to service the water tower on National Guard Drive. Work on the towers is expected to cost $300,000.
Rich Shopes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.