Florida to honour Tom Petty with a metal plaque on his birthday

News 08/08/2019

Florida Historical Marker Council has voted to erect a metal plaque in honour of Gainsville music hero, Tom Petty.

The ceremony to unveil the marker will fall on Petty's birthday this 20th October.

Months after Petty's passing in August 2017, local residents requested that the city should find a way to publicly honour their local hero in a lasting and meaningful way.

In March 2018, the city posted on their website seeking feedback from the community. "The Strategic Initiatives and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) Departments have taken initial feedback and reviewed the options for memorializing Petty," the statement read.

Although a concert/music festival garnered the most votes with 41%, Gainsville city ultimately decided on the third choice of renaming one of their parks to 'Tom Petty Park' on his birthday last year.

The new marker will be installed in the same park.

"The response to Tom Petty’s passing has been very strong, which is understandable given the great love this community has for him. He has made a lasting impact on our culture, and the city wishes to help remember his legacy in a meaningful way," said Steve Phillips, director for PRCA. Nearly 2,000 Gainesville residents voted for their choice.

"We were there a lot – it was like an extension of our yard," Tom Petty's brother, Bruce, described the park. At the same time, a 'Tom Petty Weekend' was held at Heartwood Soundstage in Gainsville.