Papa’s Pavilion made it through the tornado on April 28, 2014 without much damage. I thought it would be nice to donate it to the people of Tupelo as a positive reminder of surviving that destructive day. I asked Mayor Shelton if he thought it possible and he liked the idea as well. He had Don Lewis with the city of Tupelo contact me and we worked out the arrangements.
The first issue that need to be dealt with was money. The City did not have funds in the budget for this moving so I said that I would donate the majority of the funds to put together a team of folks to get it done. Larry Michael of Tupelo Transport Traylor and Kenneth Peacock of M & C Enterprises out of Petal MS were primarily responsible for getting the structure disassembled and moved. Denny Waide of Tupelo Park and Rec was much help in planning and putting it back together once it was moved.
Early Sunday Morning August 24, 2014 at 6 am the Tupelo Police guided us through the city streets as we moved the pavilion. It all came together without problem, thank the Lord. It currently resides at Veterans Park behind the Aquatic Center close by where the future replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is to be constructed and where the F106 Fighter Jet is to be set. Papa’s Pavilion is in place and now open to the public for use.
I want to thank all those who helped make this possible and to my late father Papa Vanelli who loved Tupelo and all people. A for all who stayed strong surviving this terrible Tornado of April 2014.
Peace / vOz
Enjoy the additional photos captured from the relocation.