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Oldsmar turns on country vibe for centennial celebration

OLDSMAR — Cowboy hats and boots are apropos for tonight's second installment of Oldsmar's Fifth Friday event, part of the city's 100th anniversary celebration.

Tonight's concert is dubbed Oldsmar Goes Country and the name says it all: country music, line dancing, beer and a mechanical bull.

Giddyup to R.E. Olds Park; the party starts at 5 and lasts until 10 p.m. It doesn't stop there: an after-party will take place at the Round Up, a country dance bar on W Hillsborough Avenue.

Contemporary country singer Cristi Vale opens the free sunset shindig at the park at 5:30 p.m.

Afterward, the jamboree continues with what is billed as "Oldsmar's Largest Line Dance," sponsored by the Round Up. Instructor Maurice Rowe will lead dancers in the electric slide.

"I've been YouTubing country line dances because I want to have an edge," said Quyen Trujillo, a Realtor who is on Oldsmar's Centennial planning committee and coordinator for the country-styled concert.

"This will be a costumed, themed event so tell everybody they are not invited unless they wear cowboy boots and hat," she said jokingly.

After the line dance, Southern rock band Soul Circus Cowboys will take the stage.

"They are a phenomenal band that can really get the crowd rockin', " Trujillo said.

In addition to the music, there will be food vendors, a beer and wine tent and amusements for children.

Adults can channel John Travolta or Debra Winger in the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy as they tackle the mechanical bull.

• • •

Mark your calendar for future "People's Centennial" happenings.

• A Caribbean reggae-themed party is slated for July 29, a Golden Oldies bash for Sept. 30, and the final concert at Tampa Bay Downs with fireworks and national recording artists is on Oct. 1.

• The annual Celebrate Oldsmar Labor Day event with fireworks will take place Sept. 2-3.

The city is also taking submissions of present-day photos and other offerings to be placed in a time capsule to be opened in 2066. Details are on the website oldsmar100.com

Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com with your Diversions feature suggestions.

>>if you go

Oldsmar Goes Country

The second Fifth Friday event ; celebrates the city's 100th anniversary

When: Today from 5 to 10 p.m.

Where: R.E. Olds Park, 107 Shore Drive W

Admission: Free

Bring: Blankets, lawn chairs.

Western attire is encouraged.

Info: Oldsmar100.com

It was 1916 when Ransom Eli Olds, creator of the Oldsmobile, purchased 37,541 acres at the top of Tampa Bay for $400,000.

He laid out wide roads made of crushed shell like the spokes of a wheel, with Tampa Bay as the hub. He planned Oldsmar to be a "working man's" community with industries of tourism, manufacturing, farming and citrus. Olds advertised the development to folks up North as the "land of golden opportunities for health, wealth and happiness."

By 1920, 121 families were living in the Oldsmar area. The town had basic industries including utilities, mills, foundry and furniture. Stores sold groceries and hardware and general merchandise. There was an inn, a post office, a church, a school and a library.

Then in 1921, a hurricane with a 14-foot storm surge devastated the town. The town struggled and Olds left, suffering a financial loss of close to $3 million.

The Great Depression would take its toll and force most of the remaining populace to leave. It wasn't until decades later that Oldsmar experienced a revival.

Today the population is roughly 14,000.

City leaders are focused on rebuilding and revitalizing downtown. They've expressed interest in a Major League Baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays and commuter rail system on the current CSX railroad tracks.

Dan Saracki, Oldsmar 100 committee chairperson and City Council member, said the goal of the planning committee was the same as R.E. Olds had when he bought the land: "To bring people and families together."

"If he (Olds) saw Oldsmar today, he'd be one happy man."

Terri Bryce Reeves, Times correspondent

Oldsmar turns on country vibe for centennial celebration 04/27/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 3:44pm]
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