Returning to normal
Branford’s Independence Day Celebration was well attended
The crowds were much larger than expected at the Branford River Reunion’s 4th of July celebration. -Photo: Submitted
By Tami Stevenson
Spring and early summer in North Florida are normally busy times as residents usually enjoy attending events and happenings around the area. This year, however, due to COVID-19, events like the Suwannee River Catfish Festival in Branford, the Florida Folk Festival at Stephen Foster State Park in White Springs, and so many others, were canceled.
The “itch” to get out and attend a community event was evident as Branford’s 4th of July celebration was well attended. Some wore masks, some did not and social distancing was encouraged. Anyone that felt they were at risk or uncomfortable about being around crowds was encouraged and advised to stay at home.
The folks that did attend the event, including vendors, were enthusiastic and happy to be able to be out. Visitors lined Suwannee Avenue waiting for the parade before going to Hatch Park for Branford River Reunion’s 4th of July evening celebration. Before the fireworks, visitors enjoyed live entertainment by Branford Highway, Booie Beach and others while browsing the vendor booths. They also offered games for kids and other activities. Food vendors were especially popular with long lines forming to get those mouth-watering menu items like pulled pork, philly steak, quesadillas and squealer fries they usually don’t make at home, not to mention the cotton candy.
Event organizer Peggy Terry said the crowds were much larger than they expected. The vendors were happy and everyone seemed to really enjoy being out.
“I had no complaints,” said Terry. “Everything went pretty smooth.”
A parade down Suwannee Avenue was held during the 4th of July celebration in Branford.
Sadie Miller, Pre Teen Miss Olustee 2020 was in the parade. She also sang the Star Spangle Banner for everyone to start the festival at Branford Hatch Park. -Photo: Submitted
Larry and Cindy Parker riding in their 1957 Chevy Limo Golf Cart enjoying the day. -Photo: Submitted