This year’s Fourth of July celebration will be Brandon’s largest ever, as two groups are joining together to present two fun, fantastic events for the enjoyment of the entire Greater Brandon community. The day will kick off with the annual Fourth of July parade, this year presented by the new Greater Brandon Action Network (GBAN). GBAN stepped in earlier this year to replace the Community Roundtable as the presenting group upon the previous group’s dissolution. The parade will run from 10 a.m.-12 Noon, with the final route through Brandon to be announced in June.

According to GBAN President Lisa Rodriquez, “Four trustees with the Roundtable just couldn’t let this 60-plus-year Brandon tradition be eliminated, so we formed a new organization with the goal to continue the events that have meant so much to Brandon over the years.”

Serving with Rodriquez are Vice President Betty Jo Tompkins, treasurer and parade Co-chair Randall Munsters, and secretary and parade Co-chair Lela Lilyquist.

Registration information for participants and volunteers is available on the website,, or by contacting Munsters at 813-685-5880.

Munsters noted, “We’ll be featuring many of the traditional parade participants, along with some special new ones that are sure to please both the young and young at heart.”

Following the parade, everyone’s invited to the ‘Catch the Spirit & Celebrate America’ festival at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, located at 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover. The festival, slated from 1-10 p.m., is free to the public, with a parking fee of $10 per vehicle. Major festival sponsors include Odiorne Insurance Agency, celebrating its 50th year in business, and Auto-Owners Insurance. Activities will include live entertainment, a pet parade and costume contest, a Little Miss and Mr. Firecracker contest, a kids’ zone with a petting zoo and inflatables, an antique car show and so much more.

“Our goal at the Hillsborough County Fair is to create a year-round venue catering to family-friendly events for the community,” states Fair Manager Suzanne Holcomb, “so creating a special event to celebrate the Fourth just seemed perfect.”

Details on the event can be found on the fair’s website,, or by calling 813-737-3247.

Also offered will be craft vendors, organizational displays, a wide assortment of food and a beer tents. And speaking of food, there will be youth and adult watermelon-eating contests sponsored by the Florida Conservation Coalition Inc.

“Agriculture is Florida’s second-largest economic driver,” reported Tompkins, Florida Conservation Coalition president, “and since Florida’s now the number one watermelon-producing state in the country, we wanted to recognize that.”

There will also be a contest prior to the Fourth of July festival for kids to draw ‘Wally the Watermelon,’ with details available by contacting or 813-477-8332.

Capping off the day’s events will be a spectacular patriotic drone show at 9 p.m.

Previous articleHillsborough County Public Schools: Celebrating Achievements In 2023-24
Next articleFree Classroom Support For Prekindergarten Children With Developmental Delay Or Disabilities