YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Independence Day has always been a chance for the Yongsan community to gather together and celebrate the birth of the nation, and this year will be no different.

"This is one of the biggest events of the year," said Mario Farrulla, Community Activities Center director and event organizer. "This is going to be a great day to celebrate our independence. There will be an entire day of activities geared toward the whole family."

The festivities kick off at noon with live music, followed by a youth dance performance, a magic show and a martial arts demonstration.

One special event planned for 3:30 p.m. is a naturalization ceremony where 17 people will raise their hands and take the oath to become the newest U.S. citizens. "This is a really unique part of the activities," Farrulla said. "I think it will be a special part of the celebration."

Some other afternoon events include a watermelon eating contest, limbo contest, and performances by the International Dance Club and the Korean jazz band Quades. All day activities include a carnival with rides, food booths, and games and activities for youth.

The famous Korean performing group Nanta will put on an afternoon show sure to entertain all ages. This world-touring troupe features Korean cooks who turn kitchen props into a percussion instruments, blending traditional Korean and western sounds during their comedic performance.

Evening activities begin with an appreciation awards presentation by the USAG-Yongsan Commander Col. Dave Hall, followed by a grand prize drawing of two round-trip tickets to the United States.

The entertainment headliner, country singer Sherrie Austin, starts her performance at Collier Field House at 6:30 p.m.

"The entertainment this year is just fantastic," said Farrulla. "This is going to be a chance for everyone to come out and enjoy a little bit of Americana."

The evening caps off with a performance by the 8th U.S. Army Band at 8 p.m. followed by a 20-minute fireworks display at 9 p.m.

"We want to invite everyone to come out and spend the day. It's fun for the whole family," said Farrulla.

Other 4th of July weekend activities

July 3, Zapp Band: This popular 80's band performs its hit funk and R&B songs at the Main Post Club starting at 7 p.m.

July 6, Family Putt-Putt: A family putt-putt and barbecue party is set for noon at the Family Fun Park.

July 6, classic rock show: The rock band, the Machine, performs at the Main Post Club starting at 7 p.m.