Musician Tom Petty, one of Gainesville’s most famous native sons, will be honored by his hometown this weekend with a music festival and a park rededication in his hame.
October 20th would have been Petty’s 68th birthday, and his family and surviving members of the Heartbreakers band have helped organize several events to honor the life of the rocker, who died last year after an accidental prescription drug overdose. In addition to the festivities in Gainesville, concerts will be held all over the country this weekend to honor Petty’s legacy.
Northeast Park, on the northeast side of Gainesville near Petty’s boyhood home, will officially be renamed “Tom Petty Park” in a dedication ceremony at 1:30 pm on Saturday, Petty’s birthday. Petty’s daughter, AnnaKim Petty, posted on her Instagram account that she planned to attend as well.
The band posted a message on their Facebook page sharing their “heartfelt thanks to all the fans in Gainesville and around the country for their love and support in celebrating Tom’s legacy this weekend!”
Musical acts for the Tom Petty Birthday Bash will include several Petty tribute bands and former members of his band Mudcrutch. The event is free for the public to attend and additional packages are being sold with souvenirs and VIP access, to benefit the Arts in Medicine program at Shands Hospital, the teaching hospital at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine.
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