Help the City Select a Way to Honor Tom Petty


On Oct. 2, 2017, the residents of Gainesville lost a beloved musician and hometown hero, Tom Petty. In the months since his passing, residents have requested that the City of Gainesville find a way to publicly honor Petty in a lasting and meaningful way. To fulfill this request, we are 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. Six viable opportunities presented themselves:

  • renaming a city street;
  • renaming a city park or facility;
  • adding a statue to a city park or facility;
  • hosting an annual concert or music festival;
  • proclaiming his birthday, Oct. 20, as Tom Petty Day or
  • dedicating the month of October to his musical legacy and celebrating the local music culture

“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,” says Steve Phillips, director for PRCA.

The survey requests that participants select their top three choices; there is the option for additional feedback for other ideas. The survey may be accessed at, and closes Monday, April 16.

The survey results will provide guidance for the city to move forward with planning and budgets. The proposed timeline is to have the selected project ready or in progress by October, to commemorate the anniversary of Petty’s passing.