Brandon High School (BHA) is a place where students excel; are empowered through clear academic, social and emotional expectations; have a growth mindset; and a have toolbox of resources to reach their why.
Originally opened in 1914 on the current site of McLane Middle School, in 1972, the school moved to its current location on Victoria St.
Each year, the alumni of Brandon High School come together to celebrate the school and the Brandon community.
“The Brandon Area Community Picnic is an annual potluck gathering of BHS alumni and longtime residents of the Greater Brandon area,” said Karen Rodriguez, host of the annual picnic. “Originally called The Greater Brandon Old Timers Association, the concept of the get-together was conceived in 1978 at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Brandon Woman’s Club. It was designed as a way to keep up with old friends and high school pals. The annual gatherings began a few weeks later with the first potluck picnic was held.”
With members aging and in need of someone to manage the yearly event, the Brandon High School Alumni Association began sponsoring the Old Timers in 2009.
“At the same time, another traditional event tied to BHS, the Grand Reunion, was in need of help with their annual spring affair,” Rodriguez said. “With many of the same members in both organizations, it made sense to combine the two, and the Grand Reunion members were invited to be a part of the Old Timers’ festivities.”
Members voted on a new name at the 2010 event and the Brandon Area Community Picnic was created.
“The picnic has its own board of directors made up of BHS alumni members,” Rodriguez said. “Originally, the gathering was for people who resided in the area since 1955 but now welcomes area residents of 20 years and longer, and all BHS alumni and their families.”
Annual attendance is approximately 150, and it is held each April. “The only cost is a covered dish,” Rodriguez said.
Keeping with tradition, the picnic annually features music, memories and a bountiful buffet of homemade food.
This year’s picnic will be held on Saturday, April 9 at the Brandon Elks Lodge, located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon. The picnic will begin at 11 a.m. If you would like to learn more about the picnic or attend, contact Karen Rodriguez at 813-431-7484.