By Rik Champine
The finale of many July 4 festivities is the light show of fireworks held after dark.
July 1-2 — BRANDON—The Brandon Independence Day celebration begins Friday, July 1, with food and a street dance at 5 p.m. in Central Park, with hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and more. At 6 p.m. the deejay from Jam Man Entertainment begins the music and stays until the last dancer drops. Stick around for the announcement of the 50/50 winner.
A silent auction will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday at Fellowship Hall, 1 Carver Street next to the Congregational Church, continuing on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, and after the parade until 3 p.m. Winners will be notified between 3 and 5 p.m. Be sure to leave contact info, or the next bidder will be notified. Payment by cash or check made out to BIDCC will be accepted. Pick up items before 5 p.m.
Pre-parade on Saturday, the grills will be firing up early in Central Park to provide a huge selection of food with all the trimmings. There will also be handcrafted items for sale. From 10 a.m. to noon, find karaoke on stage in the gazebo and family fun from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. behind the Brandon Inn.
Here comes the parade! At 1 p.m. on Saturday, this signature event of the celebration starts at the intersection of Park, High and Marble Streets. The parade marches down Park Street, through downtown, past the historic town hall, through Conant Square, and ends at Brandon Lumber. There will be floats, bands, fire engines, antique tractors/cars and much more.
Immediately following the parade, the Keating Five takes over the gazebo in Central Park. This group of local musicians puts together an eclectic mix of rock, reggae, ska, funk, blues—and then some.
No Fourth of July is complete without the yearly ball race over the falls at Green Park, just north of Central Park. The race is at 3:30 p.m. after the concert.
The fun continues at 5 p.m. at Park Village (the old Brandon Training School, just north of town) with more food, fun, and float winner announcements. Jam Man Entertainment will be there again from 5:30 p.m. to dusk, when the fireworks finale will begin. Donations are appreciated–look for BIDCC folks with donation buckets at the fireworks.