FORT BENNING, Ga. (June 26, 2018) - The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning opened its gates to the community June 23, 2018, in celebration of the Independence of the United States.An estimated 35,000 Soldiers, civilians, veterans, retirees, Families, and members of the Chattahoochee Valley and beyond attended the post's annual Independence Day celebration, which took place on York Field in front of the Maneuver Center of Excellence headquarters.The event, organized by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, included performances by country group Big and Rich, rock group 3 Doors Down and R&B artist Flo Rida.Festivalgoers ate kettle corn, funnel cake, ice cream, southern cuisine, grilled food, Cajun cooking, barbecue and more. Fun for the Families included a rock-climbing pillar, inflatable bounce houses, carnival games, and an exotic animal petting zoo.The night culminated when the MCoE Band played the songs of the armed service branches, "1812 Overture" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa and more while fireworks shot skyward in bright, thunderous detonations.For photos from the event, visit "PHOTO ALBUM" in the "Related Links" section on this page.