TIRRENIA, Italy- Hundreds of visitors flocked to the American Beach in Tirrenia to celebrate Independence Day with games, barbecue, sports and fireworks.
American classic touch football and beach volleyball had Americans and Italians laughing and diving in the sand. While children enjoyed coloring on a huge wall mural, making sand candy out of colored sugar and running around waving American flags.
One family that had come from Korea to visit relatives in Vicenza over the holidays said they decided to bring the whole gang down to Camp Darby so the kids could get a feel of a down home Fourth of July celebration.
As the sun set the Mediterranean breeze started to pick up and there was some concern by visitors sitting along the beach front if the storm clouds in the distant would hold off until after the fireworks display. Independence Day fireworks were canceled at the last minute that past two years. Fortunately, the clouds remained at bay and the crowd oh\'d and ah'd for the next half hour as the bright burst of color danced across the sky.
The festival at the American Beach, which is run by Family, Morale, Recreation and Welfare, was free, according to Diane Anderson, FMWR business and recreation manager.
"The Fourth of July Celebration at the American Beach is a great example of Morale, Welfare and Recreation's commitment to the Army Family Covenant by providing a fun filled day for service members, civilians and their families," said Anderson.
Through out the summer, U.S. military members and their families, DOD civilians, retirees and NATO ID card holders can relax on the Italian Riviera, renting chairs and umbrellas, paddle boats, and body boards. Twice a month, beach goers can also enjoy a special evening meal as the sun sets over the Mediterranean Sea.