Florida of the Day #2: The world’s tallest hat, according to Guinness, is in Tampa

by Joey deVilla on May 4, 2018

Click the photo to see it at full size.

The world’s tallest hat, as recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, belongs to a Tampa man with a decidedly Star Wars name: Odilon Ozare. He lives in one of my favorite parts of town — Seminole Heights (Toronto friends: think late 1990s Parkdale) — with seven cockatiels, each of which is named after a different Barbra Streisand album. The Tampa Bay Times has his story in a piece titled Guinness says a Tampa man made the world’s tallest hat. There is no record of his existence.

Click the photo to see it at full size.

He says he’s made hats for the Sultan of Brunei. He claims that a person named “Sven Couture” measured his hat in order to confirm that it was record-breaking; the Tampa Bay Times confirmed that both Sven and the Guinness record actually exist. What doesn’t exist is any record of Ozare, at least under that name: “there is no voter registration, driver’s license, phone or address records for anyone by that name. He said he doesn’t vote, and property ownership is an “imperialist system” in which he refuses to participate.”

Click the photo to see it at full size.

He’s been making a lot of appearances lately:

Ozare’s efforts have already earned him coverage on Fox 13 news and from United Press International. He recently was asked to throw out the first pitch at a Bradenton Marauders minor league baseball game, which he did in a different hat, one he said is the world’s third largest.

You can see him around this Saturday. He’ll be a “celebrity judge” during the weiner dog races at RiverFest in Curtis Hixon park at 1:40 and 3:30 p.m. Later he’ll be honored as a special guest at Ella’s Cinco de Derby party, where people are encouraged to participate in a best hat contest for prizes.

Best of all, his record-breaking hat will go on display with all the other folk art at local gem Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, which I blogged about a couple of years back.

If you’d like to find out more about Ozare, go check out the Tampa Bay Times piece on him, and also listen to this episode of the We Don’t Have Cookies podcast where host Jason Marshall interviews him, for a full 40 minutes. If you ever want to be inspired to do great work, you’d do well to emulate Odilon:

I have to meet this guy sometime.

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