Independence Day: Westfield Brandon will celebrate Independence Day with Brandon Blast, a family event from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the restaurant courtyard. The annual event includes bands, family entertainment and dining, leading up to a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Food and bounc house admission available for a fee. Visit westfield.com/brandon.
Book signing: Meet Brandon resident and author John V. Cinchett signing copies of his new book, Vintage Tampa Storefronts and Scenes, from noon to 3 p.m. July 7 at Back By Demand Thrift Store, 173 E Bloomingdale Ave, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the SPCA. For more information, call (813) 438-8910.
Brandon Skate Park seeks sponsors: The Hillsborough County parks department is seeking sponsorships from local businesses for the 2012 Band Jam/Skate Jam on July 14 at the Brandon Skate Park, 5720 Providence Road. Sponsorships will help cover the cost of food, drink, prizes for skaters, and sound and stage equipment. Organizations interested in sponsoring must send a letter of interest to Lori Hudson, Hillsborough County Communications Department, County Center, 16th Floor, 601 E Kennedy Blvd. For details, call the Brandon Skate Park at (813) 477-0196.
Candidate forum: Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Road, will host a candidate forum at the church at 5 p.m. July 12. More than 60 candidates are expected to attend and will participate in two sessions. The first will allow candidates and voters to casually interact. Then, all participants will gather in the worship center where candidates will speak about issues and their campaigns. For more information, visit bellshoals.com.
Country Gospel at the Farm: Jayc Harold and the Band and Patricia Cole and New Beginning will perform at a Country Gospel sing-along today at the Farm, 7818 Lithia Pinecrest Road. Enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs at 6:30 p.m. The music starts at 7. Bring your instruments. A donation is appreciated. Call (813) 967-3046 or visit thefarmusa.com.
Commissioner Beckner office hours: Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, District 6, will host office hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W McLendon St. Beckner and his staff will meet with residents to discuss their ideas and concerns about issues in the county. No appointment is necessary. Residents are seen first-come, first-served. For more information, visit hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?NID=1124 or call (813) 272-5730.
Ice cream social: Stop by Plant City Photo Archives and History Center, 106 S Evers St., from 3 to 6 p.m. today for an ice cream social. Enjoy the Smithsonian Journeys exhibit and ice cream courtesy of Blue Bell. For more information, call (813) 754-1578.
Art exhibits: Works by artist Todd Holm will be on display in the community room at the Regent, 6437 Watson Road, through July 7. A different artist is featured each month. Free. For more information, or if you are an artist interested in using the space for free, call (813) 571-2494.
National Dance Day event: Brandon Ballet invites children to celebrate the third annual National Dance Day from 7 to 10 p.m. July 28 at the Regent, 6437 Watson Road. Participants who sign up will be directed to a link to learn a dance posted online. Children ages 8 to 18 can join in the fun but must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $15 per child. Visit shop.brandonballet.org or call (813) 684-4282.
Korean War remembrance: It's been called the Forgotten War, but nearly 62 years after full-scale combat began, a Korean War remembrance will be held Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park. The event has the theme "A Day To Remember" and will include guest speaker George McMaster, who served in the Marine Corps. The keynote speaker is Donald Lee Denny, an Army veteran and former prisoner of war. There also will be a remembrance of those who are prisoners of war or missing in action. Rolling Thunder Florida Chapter 11 will provide the color guard, and a memorial wreath will be presented by Gold Star Families. A rifle salute and taps will be conducted by Marine Corps League Detachment 1226. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park is just east of Tampa at 3602 U.S. 301 N.