FORT BELVOIR, Va. (June 14) -- Soldiers from Fort Belvoir got an early start on celebrating the Army's 237th birthday during the inaugural Virginia! Grand Slam Fest June 9 at Pfiztner Stadium, Woodbridge, Va.

The festival provided information about organizations that provide services in the community and was an opportunity for Prince William County Chamber of Commerce and the Potomac Nationals baseball team to recognize Belvoir's centennial.

"This was a great way for the Soldiers, Families and civilians of Fort Belvoir to reconnect with Prince William County," said Pauline Hunter, Fort Belvoir Public Affairs, community relations. "Prince William County's recognition of Fort Belvoir menas so much because I am also a resident of the county."

Virginia! Grand Slam Fest is designed to "bring the community together to celebrate the amazing people and places of the Prince William area, with activities for all ages," according to their website.

Prince William County Supervisor John Jenkins, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, read a proclamation unanimously passed by the board of supervisors June 5 designating June as 'Army Birthday-Belvoir Centennial 2012' month in honor of the Army's birthday and Fort Belvoir's centennial.

"For 237 years, America's Army has always answered the nation's call and she promises she always will," Jenkins read. "And, on June 14, 2012, the Army will celebrate its 237th birth and will also celebrate Flag Day. Prince William County joins with the Army in recognizing its contributions to the national defense as the strength of the nation."

The day provided attendees with an opportunity to sample food from local eateries, meet area authors and artists, and to take part in autograph sessions and baseball clinics with Potomac Nationals players.

The event was followed by a double-header the Potomac Nationals split against the Salem Red Sox. Staff Sgt. Brandon Jones, Sgt. Marques Johnson, Pfc. Charles McPheeters, and Pfc. Dianye Ziara of the Continental Color Guard from the Military District of Washington presented the colors at the start of the second game.

Grand Slam Fest was collaboratively hosted by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, the Prince William Area Coalition of Human Services and the Potomac Nationals. Sponsors included 495 Express Lanes, Prince William Health Systems, First Virginia Community Bank, Prince William Living, Azalea Charities, Inc., and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

"Our goal is to see Grand Slam Fest grow each year to include more and more of the elements that make the Prince William area such a dynamic place to live and work," said Rob Clapper, president and CEO of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

Page last updated Thu June 14th, 2012 at 00:00