PALM BAY — It’s a great day Palm Bay!

On July 4, 1776 – 245 years ago – the Continental Congress declared our independence and founded our nation on the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality. We celebrate each Independence Day with gratitude for the blessings of freedom and opportunity our forefathers afforded us.

I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the City of Palm Bay’s Food Trucks and Fireworks event celebrating our country’s birth. Despite the threat of inclement weather and some technical difficulties during our fireworks show caused by the rain, we had a wonderful event filled with food, families, and community fun. I was #PalmBayProud to celebrate America’s independence with thousands of my fellow Palm Bayers and I look forward to welcoming even more of you to our full event next year!

On June 26 I had the pleasure of attending the Palm Bay Caribbean Festival and Parade, presented by the Brevard Caribbean American Sports and Cultural Association in partnership with the City of Palm Bay. The event was planned as part of the month-long celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month, which included an official City of Palm Bay proclamation honoring the occasion. With vendors, food, music, and live performances, the Caribbean Festival was a vibrant event that showed the beautiful culture and diversity we have right here in Palm Bay.

I was also blessed to have the opportunity to participate in ride-alongs with some of the brave men and women of the Palm Bay Police Department and Palm Bay Fire Rescue. I have a long-standing respect for police and firefighters, but getting to join these dedicated civil servants on the job was a truly eye-opening experience. I’m pleased to report that Palm Bay is in great hands, and we should all be #PalmBayProud of our Police and Fire Departments.

As summer gets into full swing, Palm Bay’s Court Kingz Streetball Nights basketball event series is just getting started. Each Friday at Vets Park the well-known Court Kingz basketball exhibition team are inviting Palm Bay’s youth ages 12 to 24 to come out for a night of friendly competition by way of five-on-five games and family friendly fun – and best of all it’s F-R-E-E! The Streetball Nights events will take place every Friday from 5:00pm to 10:00pm through August 6.

Finally, I’d like to remind my fellow Palm Bayers to practice hurricane preparedness. We got lucky with Elsa and her path to our west, but as Floridians we know that it’s not “if”, but “when” the next storm will strike. This hurricane season, I’d like to encourage all Palm Bayers to have a plan in place to ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared. Visit www.palmbayflorida.org/hurricane or pick up one of our free hurricane preparedness guides at City Hall today to learn how to build a hurricane kit, home prep tips, evacuation and shelter info, and how to stay informed before, during, and after a storm.

Remember, when it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes, plan - don’t panic, and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll be ready the next time a storm hits. Stay safe Palm Bay!

Mayor Rob Medina

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