July 4 celebration on tap
June 21, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson's annual celebration of America's independence is scheduled for 9 p.m., July 4, at Hilton Field.
This year's ceremony features music by the 282nd Army Band, a display by Soldiers in period uniforms and a 20- to 30-minute fireworks display. Attendees are asked to deactivate car alarms because the concussion from the fireworks may trigger them.
Gary Taylor, special events coordinator for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said he expects a great firework show.
"We're doing it a different way this year," Taylor said. "It will probably be a little better than last year, if you ask me."
Taylor said the event usually attracts between 20,000 and 30,000 people to post each year.
Fort Jackson's neighbors are invited to share in the evening's festivities, and should plan to arrive early for the best seats and parking.
Access to the installation may be through Gate 2 (Forest Drive/Strom Thurmond Boulevard), Gate 4 (Percival/Boyden Arbor roads) or Gate 5 (Leesburg Road).
Everyone must possess a valid state or government issued identification card for entry. The vehicle's driver must possess a valid driver's license, valid proof of insurance and a valid registration. Once entering the installation, drivers should follow signs and the instructions given by traffic control personnel.
Motorcycle riders must also conform to Department of Defense regulations to enter tge post and requirements include: wear of a DOT approved helmet, fullfingered gloves, over the ankle boots, long-sleeved shirt/jacket and reflective vest or clothing.
Anyone planning to attend the festivities should arrange to arrive early to ensure the best seating and to avoid being turned away at the last minute. Additionally, all visitors should be aware that random vehicle searches will be conducted at the gates.
At 8:45 p.m. gates 1, 4 and 5 will become exit only to facilitate the timely exit of vehicles following the fireworks. Gate 2 will allow entry to the post, but late arrivals will be directed to a parking lot where the fireworks display will be visible, however late traffic will not detract from the festivities.
Food and drink concessions will be available at Hilton Field starting at 4 p.m. Pets, grills, alcoholic beverages, firearms and personal fireworks are not permitted, and coolers are discouraged in the bleachers.
Bleacher and main grandstand seating are available and guests may bring lawn chairs and blankets for use on the field. The softball complex will be open to families with small children and will feature games, crafts and carnival type rides.
The evening's festivities will conclude at approximately 10 p.m. On leaving Hilton Field guests are encouraged to pay close attention to departure directions as traffic routes to the various gates will be tightly controlled and once a vehicle is on a specific gate route, there will be no means to take a different route.