BRANDON - The area's most explosive Independence Day celebration reaches a milestone this year.
Brandon Blast, the annual family-focused Fourth of July event at the Westfield Brandon mall, will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
"The plan is to just continue expanding on what we've been doing," said Dawn Arvidson, marketing director of Westfield Brandon.
Arvidson said the event - which will take place at the mall's restaurant courtyard in front of the Bahama Breeze Island Grille and the Cheesecake Factory - attracted about 10,000 people last year between 5 and 9 p.m. She expects a similar turnout for this year's event, which will take place during the same evening hours.
This year's event will be sponsored by country music station WQYK 99.5. Brandon Blast will also feature the participation of community organizations such as the youth-centered i9 sports and Florida Blood Services.
There will also be live music and family-centric activities like face painting and a mobile video game unit, where gamers can show off their skills. Though Brandon Blast is a free event, there will be a fee for the mobile videogame unit with the proceeds going to a school Westfield Brandon will adopt this upcoming school year. Arvidson said that school will likely be Mango Elementary.
Still, the big draw since the event was established in 2003 is the fireworks show, which will kick off at 9 p.m. and light up the Brandon sky.
"This is the only fireworks display in the Brandon area," Arvidson said. "It's also a great place to enjoy some great food and music.
"It's the Fourth of July destination in Brandon."
For information, visit www.westfield.com/brandon