By Tamas Mondovics

An endless supply of bead necklaces and candy, cheering and music, all under a sea of red, white and blue, marked another successful Fourth of July parade in Brandon, hosted once again by the Brandon Community Roundtable.

As Florida’s largest Independence Day Parade, the annual Brandon tradition is now celebrating more than 60 years, drawing a large crowd of spectators.

This year was no exception as thousands of area residents lined the roadway welcoming the more than 100 groups that paraded down the nearly two mile journey, which began on Lumsden Rd., continued north on Parsons Ave. then turned left onto Robertson St. before finishing at Buckingham Pl. to complete the event.

While the participating groups included dozens of returning favorites and many new ones, the event once again featured some of the local winners such as Brian Rice as the Father of the Year, and Bloomingdale High School Principal Sue Burkett as the winner of this year’s Brandon Honorary Mayor’s race. Burkett raised more than $41,000 to win the honor.

There was also no shortage of local government officials who took part in the parade while passing out beads and candy coupled with the free flow of handshakes.

Hillsborough County Commissioners Sandra Murman and Stacy White both made sure they were visible to their constituents.

As is the case at every parade, the festivities would not be complete without young and old decked out in the colors of the day, sitting, standing or being held by their parents while taking their rightful place amongst the thousands.

The Community Roundtable meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

The meetings are located at Center Place (Brandon Library), located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon, promoting its mission.

“To instill a sense of community and pride for the Greater Brandon area through participation, membership and volunteerism.”

For more information please visit

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