Fort Gordon’s Independence Day celebration got off to a slightly late, wet start, yet thousands of people flocked to Barton Field on July 1 for an evening of live music, food, fireworks, and other family-friendly entertainment.
Danielle Hayes, special events coordinator with the Recreation Division, DFMWR, estimates 18,000 attended – about half of previous years’ numbers – citing weather and pandemic concerns as likely reasons. Still, she was thankful for the turnout and happy to see the fruits of her – and so many other peoples’ – labor.
“Everything went smoothly and as planned, other than Mother Nature not cooperating and us having two rain delays,” she said. “Although our attendance numbers were lower than usual, I was still so pleased to see so many people attend the event and truly enjoy it!”
Topping the list of main attractions were country music groups Brothers Osborne, Lanco, and Runaway June, who put on a free concert and were followed by a fireworks extravaganza. There was also a Kiddie Carnival, face and airbrush painting, a rock climbing wall and other activities to keep people engaged and entertained before and during the free concert – none of which would have been possible without the tireless efforts of many volunteers, Hayes said.
“We want to thank [Marine Corps Detachment] and Senior Leader Course Class 25B40 009 for volunteering as security,” she said. “They both played an integral role in ensuring the front and rear areas of the stage were monitored and safe during the event.”
Hayes went on to say there was also a group of retired Veterans and federal police officers who voluntarily assisted the MWR Technical Support Services crew with setting up all the tents and canopies for the event, which was “a huge help.”
“I am hoping that those who attended the event took away a feeling pride in our great nation, and a feeling of relief that we were able to all finally come together again; and safely, to enjoy live music, yummy food and treats, to experience the fun and excitement of the fireworks and all the event had to offer as a whole,” Hayes said.
Mark your calendars
Fort Gordon’s annual Fall Fest is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 3 to Oct. 3. It will feature a large carnival and midway along with the highly anticipated Fall Flea Market (Oct. 2). Patrons who have unused MWR tickets from the Independence Day celebration may use them during Fall Fest or towards other MWR events.