A local park in Gainesville, Florida has been renamed in Tom Petty's honour last Saturday which would have been his 68th birthday that day.
The Northeast park was Petty's frequent spot for many long years. Many friends, family and hundreds of attendees were present at the dedication ceremony.
During the ceremony, Gainesville Sun reports that Petty's younger brother, Bruce said that the two Petty brothers grew up in this park. He adds, “My cousin reminded me the other day of my remark that it was a sanctuary, and it really was. It was a place for us to escape and be kids and have fun. The fact that we are doing this today, and the part we played in it, makes it so much more special.”
You can also watch the full speech from Bruce and Adria below.
Petty's daughter, Adria says that Gainesville is an "extraordinary place" if you listen to Petty's music there as "it has a different meaning". She also mentioned Petty's latest posthumous track release, ”Gainesville" has been "blasting in her head".
Among other Petty activities over his birthday weekend featured The Bayjacks ft. Tom Leadon who played early Petty material from Mudcrutch and a "Tom Petty Birthday Bash" at Depot Park that had many bands playing Petty music and contributed to UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine program.
Two local artists, Carrie and Jesus Martinez painted an 8-by-8 foot Tom Petty mural on canvas at Sidney Lanier Center, where Petty attended elementary school. The piece was then auctioned off that night to benefit the same UF program.
We’re Tom Petty fans. Everybody is a Tom Petty fan.
“We hope to make a lot of money for a really good cause,” Carrie said.