Celebrate Oldsmar in September!

Fireworks are one the highlights of the annual Celebrate Oldsmar! event. Credit: City of Oldsmar.

Fireworks are one the highlights of the annual Celebrate Oldsmar! event. Credit: City of Oldsmar.

The kids are back in school, summer is winding down, and here in the greater Tampa Bay area that means the fall special events season is about to kick into high gear.

The City of Oldsmar jumps into the fall events fray right away when it hosts one of its biggest annual events, Celebrate Oldsmar!, this weekend at R.E. Olds Park.

The two-day festival takes place on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. each day. Highlights include live music, carnival rides, games, food, beer & wine and fireworks.

“Celebrate Oldsmar! is one of the biggest events the City hosts each year,” Oldsmar city official Debb Pauley told Oldsmar Connect.

“Huge crowds normally turn out at R.E. Olds Park for the event, which truly is a celebration of the City of Oldsmar!”

Celebrate Oldsmar! is free to attend for patrons of all ages; prices vary for food, drink and merchandise items. Parking is also free, and attendees are asked to bring their own seating for the live shows. No coolers or bags are permitted in the park.

Also on Saturday the 12th, the Guns -n- Hoses charity softball game between local police and fire officials will be held at Bright House Field in Clearwater beginning at 4:00 p.m. The fundraiser for the Holiday Sharing Fund was postponed from its originally scheduled date in July. The group will also host a wing-eating contest on Saturday, September 26 at Beef ‘O Brady’s on Tampa Road.

On Saturday, September 12, Oldsmar gets electric, as the City’s fifth annual National Drive Electric Week event takes place downtown.

Oldsmar's Drive Electric Tampa Bay event is Saturday, September 12 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Oldsmar Library.

Oldsmar’s Drive Electric Tampa Bay event is Saturday, September 12 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Oldsmar Library.

The eco-friendly event is sponsored by Drive Electric Tampa Bay and will feature a number of “green” themed products and demonstrations, including a large collection of electric vehicles.

“Plug-in electric vehicles have enabled millions of miles of cleaner, oil-free driving, including here in the Tampa Bay area,” Oldsmar’s Sustainability Coordinator, Estevan Baza, recently told Oldsmar Connect.

A community coffee meet and greet with the PCSO will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Daddy's Grill

A community coffee meet and greet with the PCSO will be held on Monday, Sept. 14 at Daddy’s Grill

The free event will run from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in front of the Oldsmar Library, located at 400 St. Petersburg Drive East.

A community coffee meet & greet with Pinellas County Sheriffs officials will be held on Monday, September 14 at Daddy’s Grill on Tampa Road from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., and then, towards the end of the month, a couple of special ceremonies will be held in Oldsmar to honor America’s veterans.

On Monday, September 21, the “Remember Florida’s Fallen” exhibit will premier at the library, with an opening ceremony scheduled for 11:00 a.m.

According to a press release for the event, the display is “a war memorial photo exhibit created to remember our state’s Fallen from The War on Terror since the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001.”

Six days later, on Sunday, September 27, the third annual
“Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day Ceremony” to honor families of the fallen will take place at 10:00 a.m. at Oldsmar’s Veterans Memorial Park.

The ceremony holds special meaning for Toni and Craig Gross, longtime Oldsmar residents whose son, Frank, was killed in action in Afghanistan in July 2011.

“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” Craig Gross recently told Oldsmar Connect from his restaurant, Frankie’s Patriot BBQ, in Tarpon Springs.

Craig and Toni Gross with Oldsmar City Council member Linda Foley Norris.

Craig and Toni Gross with Oldsmar City Council member Linda Foley Norris.

“Two years ago Governor Scott came, and it was pouring rain, and he and every one of the soldiers stood still the entire time in the middle of the rain, they never moved. It was quite a sight.”

According to Toni Gross, who serves as the chapter president for the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. of Tampa Bay, Oldsmar is one of the few communities in the state that hosts such an event.

“To my knowledge, the only other Florida city that hosts a ceremony is Orlando, which has held a “Gold Star Mother’s Day” for several years now,” she wrote Oldsmar Connect, adding Tampa will be hosting its first one on Sunday, Sept 27.

Gross added why she feels such ceremonies are so important.

“The reason we remember our fallen military personnel and honor the families they left behind are simply this…..”Poor is the nation that has no heroes, shameful is that one that having them…forgets.” Oldsmar remembers the sacrifices of Gold Star Families and the fallen heroes who gave their all to protect our freedom.”

So as you can see, from celebrating the City itself, to honoring its fallen soldiers, Oldsmar has a special event for everyone this September.

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