Fairyland characters to be sold at auction

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Are they junk or valuable pieces of Tampa history? If plans go forward, the long lost characters of Fairyland will soon be sold to the highest bidder.

The fiberglass and cement fairytale statues, including the Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, and Humpty Dumpty,  are the survivors of the Fairyland attraction that was once part of Lowry Park. It was started in the late 1950s and dismantled in the 80s.

At the time, a city worker hid them away to save them. Last summer, they were discovered at a city garage. Now the city has decided to sell them as surplus property.

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Fairyland was a magical place for generations of Tampa kids like Mario Nunez, who wants the planned auction of the characters stopped.

"They really don't have any intrinsic value to anyone else but those of us who are from here," said Nunez, a retired airline worker and host of The Tampa Natives Show on local cable.

Linda Hope of the Sulphur Springs Action League said she has applied for a county grant to restore the figures and place them in Tower Park, but she city officials have not returned her calls.

The city's purchasing director, Gregory Spearman said he expects the Manheim Auction company to sell the statues at auction within the next several weeks.

"It's my job to generate revenue for the city from these items that are auctioned," he said.

They were lost then found, but now the once-famous characters of Tampa's Fairyland face an uncertain future.