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Tribe celebrates Fourth of July 2021

The Brighton and Hollywood communities each gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July for the first time since the start of the pandemic at a variety of events.

The first event of the long weekend in Brighton was a community celebration July 2 that featured competitions, games, food and a kid’s carnival at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena. A basketball tournament with six competing teams was held at the gym. There was a fishing tournament at Tucker Ridge on July 3 and the festivities ended, as most Independence Day events usually do, with a concert and fireworks on July 4.

“Since we have been dealing with Covid, everyone has been in the house for a year,” said Brighton Councilman Larry Howard. “It’s good to see everyone out here enjoying the festivities. Today is a whole new day; this is the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Adult horseshoe and cornhole tournaments got the day off to a good start. Kids’ egg and watermelon races, an adult pie eating contest and tugs of war for kids and adults rounded out the day’s activities. Dinner and bingo were the evening activities. Crowds gathered to cheer each other on during the friendly competitions. Some hadn’t seen each other in more than a year.

“I’m glad we were finally able to come together,” said Brighton’s Jaryaca Baker. “It’s been especially hard on the kids. They are energetic and outgoing and they yearn for communication with their peers.”

Syveeta Cypress, left, and Ava-Jae Cypress take a break in the shade during a hot Hollywood day. (Photo Damon Scott)
Kids enjoy cooling off and playing in the water of the new Hollywood splash pad. (Photo Damon Scott)
Shenieka Ruffin was one of the lifeguards on duty at the Hollywood splash pad. (Photo Damon Scott)
From left are Melissa Billie and Hollywood Council Office’s Francine Osceola and Tomie Motlow. (Photo Damon Scott)
Chairman’s Office staff Blake Osceola, left, and Carlene Osceola hand out gifts to Hollywood residents who came out to Fourth of July events July 3. (Photo Damon Scott)
From left are Andrew Perkins, Stella Perkins, Tiffany Frank and Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall in the Board’s special tote bag booth. (Photo Damon Scott)
Recreation’s Courtney Osceola, left, and Erika Santiago helped supervise kids who were playing in the Hollywood splash pad. (Photo Damon Scott)
Cousins Xavion Lee Nunez and Indica Smith, both 2, carefully walk around together during the Brighton Fourth of July celebration July 2. Xavion shows off his new stuffed animal while Indica watches her every step. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Bella Spencer concentrates as she rolls the watermelon to the finish line during the watermelon race in Brighton. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Kids compete in the watermelon rolling contest at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena in Brighton. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Martha Tommie records the pie eating contest from the sidelines at the Brighton festivities. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Jhennie Baker, 2, runs to her mom, Jaryaca Baker, during the Brighton Fourth of July bash. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
From left, Daniel Nunez, Justin Gonzalez, Elianna Gonzalez and her mom Cheyenne Nunez, Joleyne Nunez and Edelyn Gonzalez enjoy the Brighton Fourth of July celebration at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at