BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — This year’s 4th of July Parade in Brandon has been canceled by its organizers.
The parade has been a family-friendly favorite since 1957. This year, however, the Brandon Roundtable announced that its main parade organizer suffered a serious health issue, and there aren’t enough “seasoned volunteers” to make the parade a reality.
James Lee, who owns Campbell’s Dairyland in Brandon, has seen the parade pass his business for years.
“It’s a pretty fun day. I mean, how often can you be at work and see a parade go right by in front of you?” said Lee.
On parade day, the street in front of his business is blocked off. But families walk up for a cool, refreshing treat from his store as they wait for the parade to start.
“So we bring our crew in early, open up and they usually have a good time working,” said Lee.
In 2002, his business burned down and he and his wife had an opportunity to be in the parade. The experience convinced them they needed to reopen their store.
“It made us feel like we were movie stars, [because] we just didn’t realize the impact, having the business and what it’s done to people,” said Leesa Lee.
The Brandon Chamber of Commerce recently became aware the parade was being canceled. Members didn’t feel they had enough time to pitch in and make the parade happen this year.
“We want it to be a success. We don’t want to put something together that’s not going to be a great time for everyone that is going to take time to come out on their 4th of July,” said Brandon Chamber of Commerce President Matt Lettelleir.
The chamber hopes to find another group to partner with to hold the parade next year.
“From folks I’ve talked to, there is definitely some interest in having conversations with other community leaders about bringing this thing back in 2023 and having it really rock and roll,” said Lettelleir.