By Sarah Pacheco, Hawaii Army Weekly, U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiJune 30, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The stage is set for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's 43rd annual 4th of July Spectacular, to take place, here, July 4.
Similar to last year, the celebration will only be open to Department of Defense ID cardholders, to include military members, their families, military retirees, DOD civilian employees and their authorized guests.
"About 45,000 (people) attended last year, and we expect the same turnout this year," said Kathy Giannetti, chief, Special Events; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; USAG-HI.
Festivities such as pony rides, midway games, rides, crafts, a new products bazaar and food booths once again will grace Desiderio, Weyand and Sills fields throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m., with a rocking concert and awe-inspiring fireworks display to close out the night.
Adding to the mass appeal of the daylong celebration, this year, is a slew of new attractions for the whole family.
"We try to add a few new activities to the program every year, based on survey input, ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation) comments and current trends; I also ask patrons (what they'd like to see added) as I walk around the event on the 4th," Giannetti said.
"Last year, we were asked if any of the booths were selling ice, so this year, there will be a Mini PX (post exchange) selling bags of ice in its booth," she added.
There also will be Water Zorb, carriage rides, a surf simulator, archery and three belly-busting food-eating contests, sponsored by the Commissary.
"This year, kendama is a very popular activity with kids of all ages, so we added in a free tournament, as well as lessons, which we think will be a great addition," Giannetti added.
Spaces are limited to 100 competitors per level -- Young Beginner (ages 8 and younger), Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Register for the kendama tourney online now or the day of the event, starting at 10 a.m.
Rides and games are all well and good, but the biggest draw for the annual July 4th festival is by far the free concert that takes place on the main stage.
"For the past three years, we have been fortunate to receive installation recycling funds to pay for the main stage entertainment," said Giannetti, who asked that concert-goers lower their canopies beginning at 4 p.m., so that everyone can see the artists do their thing.
Headlining the list of performers -- and the lineup this year is pretty impressive -- is alt-rock band Third Eye Blind, known for its chart-topping hits "Semi-Charmed Life," "Jumper," How's It Going to Be" and "Never Let You Go."
The multi-award-winning band currently is working on its yet-to-be-titled fifth album and is on tour at gigs throughout North America.
Opening for Third Eye Blind will be the 25th Infantry Division specialty band O.N.E. Nation, followed by Hawaiian ukulele powerhouse Willie K.
One of the islands' most versatile talents, "Uncle" Willie K plays from a myriad of musical genres, to include Hawaiian, jazz, blues, reggae, rock, country and even opera, and has performed with musical giants B.B. King, Santana, Willie Nelson, Prince, Bonnie Rait, Jimmy Buffet, Steven Tyler and more.
Also entertaining attendees throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m. on the DFMWR stage (near the flagpole on Weyand Field), will be live performances by magicians and musical acts, including 2014 Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner Amanda Frazier, Above Reproach, Any Given Chance, Arwy By Design, Ignite the Red and Chaotic 5.
Other attractions not to be missed include a live flag retreat, a patriotic salute by the 25th ID Band and a car giveaway by sponsor Tony Group Autoplex -- oh, and those spectacular fireworks that are sure to end the night with a bang.
Tickets will be required this year for games and rides. They can be purchased for $1 each at the ticket booths located on Desiderio, Sills and Weyand fields.
Food and drink are cash only.
"Check out the DFMWR website for the latest information and schedule of events for the entire day," said Giannetti, who also advised Soldiers and families to walk to the event, rather than drive, if possible.
"Although Schofield Barracks has plenty of parking, departing (for the 4th of July Spectacular) at the same time can be very stressful if you are in a vehicle that doesn't seem to move!" she said.
"We look forward to another highly successful 4th of July Spectacular," Giannetti enthused, "and to providing our Soldiers and their family members a memorable, fun-filled daylong event!"
• Noise Advisory
Residents and visitors on post will hear the cannon rehearsal and performance,
6-10 p.m., July 3, and 7:15-8:30 p.m., July 4.
• July 4th Activities
The 43rd annual 4th of July Spectacular kicks off at 10 a.m. Call the Special Events office at (808) 655-0002 or (808) 655-0113.
• Safety First
To ensure a safe and happy July 4th for all, the following items are prohibited at the event:
•Distilled spirits/liquor (whiskey, rum, vodka, tequila, etc.);
•Fireworks, including firecrackers and sparklers (Note: Fireworks are prohibited on all military installations, including Army Hawaii installations, at all times);
•Charcoal/open-flame grills, unless they are in a designated picnic area that is reserved through DFMWR.
DFMWR will showcase its recycling and sustainability programs on post and is asking attendees to pitch in and dispose of their opala (rubbish) in the proper manner.
• Event Access
DOD ID cardholders and their authorized guests can access USAG-HI's 43rd annual 4th of July Spectacular via Foote, Lyman, McNair and Macomb gates.
•Macomb and Foote gates will be open to inbound and outbound traffic, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; open to outbound traffic only, 8 p.m.-midnight; and closed to all traffic beginning at midnight.
•McNair Gate will be open to inbound and outbound traffic until 8 p.m.; it will be open to outbound traffic only, 8 p.m.-midnight, and re-open to inbound traffic beginning at midnight.
•Lyman Gate will have normal operating hours, with normal traffic patterns.
Additionally, the following roads will be closed, 8 p.m.-midnight:
•Ayres Avenue, from McMahon Road to McCornack Road;
•Waianae Avenue, from McCornack Road to Ayres Road;
•Leilehua Avenue, from McCornack Road to Macomb Road (open to residents only); and
•Flagler Avenue, from Lyman Road to Foote Avenue.
There will be one-way traffic on both lanes of McCornack Road from Cadet Sheridan Road to McNair Gate, 8 p.m.-midnight. North Shore traffic will travel in the left lane; Honolulu traffic, in the right lane.
Vehicles exiting Foote Gate, 8 p.m.-midnight, must turn left; those exiting Macomb Gate, 8 p.m.-midnight, must turn right.
As a reminder, drivers and all passengers age 16 and older are required to show a valid state or federal ID at the gates. All drivers must possess valid vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
All vehicles are subject to search at any time while on the installation.
Public parking will be available; however, DFMWR officials ask that spectators walk to the event, if possible, to help ease traffic congestion.