BRANDON — Expect several big names to celebrate this year's Brandon Fourth of July parade, organizers say.
Heralding the event as grand marshal: American Idol contestant Jeremy Rosado of Valrico. The 20-year-old Durant High graduate and Hillsborough Community College student competed in the top 13 earlier this year in the hit reality show's 11th season.
Last year's grand marshal, MacDill Air Force Base commander Col. Lenny Richoux, also will ride, accompanied by a military color guard and marching unit. Richoux leaves MacDill in late July after two years, moving to an assignment in Belgium.
"It's kind of his opportunity to wave goodbye to the Brandonites," said Janine Nickerson, vice president of the Community Roundtable of Greater Brandon, which hosts the annual event.
The third prominent feature won't march with the parade. But spectators can feast along the route at the popular food truck Taco Bus.
About 110 groups will participate in the parade, which draws an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people every year, Nickerson said.
"It makes for a very nice parade," she said.
She also expects about 25 politicians to attend, including incumbents and candidates running for office.
This year's parade theme honors the area's founders, following a February dinner to share pioneering stories from the Brandon, Mulrennan, King, Bryan and Simmons families.
Helen Young Mulrennan is likely to attend, Nickerson said. Organizers also extended invitations to the other families.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. July 4 at the corner of Lumsden Road and Parsons Avenue. It proceeds north on Parsons and heads west on Robertson Road.
New this year is a ban on water guns, Nickerson said, citing safety concerns.
Stephanie Wang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.