Brandon July 4th celebration lights up the downtown


BRANDON — A day-long rain and drizzle didn’t stop thousands of community members and visitors from having a blast at Brandon’s downtown Fourth of July celebration. Everyone parked and shuttled to explore the numerous festivities, starting with the parade at 10 a.m. announced by Recreation Director Bill Moore, who proclaimed “the Fourth of July was wonderful despite the weather.”

Attendees also checked out the silent auction where most items went for close to face value or more. “It went swimmingly,” said Moore. “We had a triumphant return to downtown Brandon and received nothing but compliments and kudos to all the members of the committee who made it possible.”

Among the day’s events were the Duck Race, Swiss Roll eating competition, in which Arturo Mendiola of Brandon set a world record eating a whole box in 93 seconds, several music acts, a limbo contest, and a worthy parade that honored entries in several categories.

Even the street dance was well-attended despite the rain, and the crowds stayed to enjoy the music and fireworks late into the night.

Pulling it all together were a host of volunteers (listed below) who made the holiday magical.

FIREWORKS FILL THE night sky over Brandon as the town celebrates in a return to normalcy.

“At the end of the night when you’re sitting there watching people in their 60s as well as kids running around, with Josh Collier, a nationally recognized opera singer, belting out the national anthem, then the fireworks go, it’s so nice to see everyone together as a community,” said Moore.

Moore gave the volunteer committee huge accolades for organizing the event, including: Susan Stone, parade chair-treasurer; Jean Lamarre, vendor chair; Bobbie Torstenson, silent auction and secretary; Susan Bennett, marketing-promotion; Derrick Cram, street dance chair; Debbie Boyce, vice chair of the committee and in charge of general safety; and Ben Wymett, volunteer coordinator.

And special thanks were given by Moore to the Neshobe PTO, Brandon Police Department, Brandon Fire Department, Public Works Department and “countless volunteers on the day of the event.”

Others honored were:


  • 1st Ron Lewis
  • 2nd Nancy Rowe
  • 3rd Ken Backus


  • Aaron Tucker


  • Junior Division (15 and under): Tyler Clark from Charlottesville, VA
  • Senior Division: Arturo Mendiola from Brandon, who finished in 1:33, and set a world record!


  • Whimsy: Brandon American Legion Post 55 (Entry #4)
  • History: Markowski’s Tractors (Entry #29)
  • Patriotism: Cummings & Sons Land Clearing (Entry #36)
  • Environmental: Scouts Pack #110, Troop #2019 & Troop #110 (Entry #14)
A REVIVED FLAG signals the start of Brandons 2021 4th of July parade.
DERRICK CRAM EMCEES the street dance

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