The 2012 awards for the Greater Brandon Fourth of July Parade are set to be distributed tonight, July 11, at the Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association on Vonderburg Drive, just west of Parsons Avenue, the main street down which the parade has traveled for decades.
- Update Posted July 12:
"People put in a lot of effort to put their floats together, to get people together, and they deserve to be rewarded for that," said Janine Nickerson, vice president of the Community Roundtable, which each year stages the Greater Brandon Fourth of July Parade.
Despite there being only 12 awards issued, everybody is a winner, participant and viewer alike, Nickerson added, "because, quite frankly, without them there would be no parade."
Like last year, 12 awards will be issued, for:
- Best Theme
- Best Musical Marching Unit
- Best Musical Vocal
- Best Krewe
- Best Amateur Performance
- Best Amateur Float
- Best Professional Float
- Best Decorated Vehicle
- Most Unusual Vehicle
- Best Youth Cheerleaders
- Best Marching Unit
- Community Roundtable Best Overall
Let us know in the comment box below your would-be winners in each of the categories above.
Nickerson, who served as chair for the reviewing stand, praised as well the efforts of Marie Cain, parade chair; LaWayne Wyatt, parade marshall; Peggs Stuart, safety officer; and parade board members, Randall Munsters and Chris Prinzivalli.
"We've had so many compliments from people saying things like they thought there were more people at the parade this year, that people seemed to be happier this year, that people loved having the [food truck] vendors there," Nickerson said. "The bottom line is the parade went extraordinarily well. It was smooth, it was good."
So, too, were the results of the race for honorary mayor of Brandon, a race for charity and nonprofit support run by the Community Roundtable, for which the results are announced the morning of the Greater Brandon Fourth of July Parade. Monies raised at a string of fundraisers in June and through July 4 are tallied to determine the new mayor.
This year, more than $42,000 was raised by both the winning "candidate" Gay Lynn Love and her most gracious "opponent," B. Lee Elam.
"Every single penny of the money raised goes back to charity," Nickerson said. "Ten percent goes to the Community Roundtable, 10 percent to the candidate's sponsoring charity and the remaining 80 percent is split among the candidate's designated charities. They can break it up however they want."
The Greater Brandon Fourth of July Parade Ceremony kicks off at 6:30 p.m. July 11. Center Place shares space with the Brandon Regional Library in the Sandy Rodriguez Center at 619 Vonderburg Drive.
The Community Roundtable, an umbrella organization for Greater Brandon nonprofits and charities and the businesses and residents who support them, meets there the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to join.