JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Germany – Soldiers, civilians, Families and guests gazed up from Warrior Field as rocket followed rocket upward in trails of light into the night sky and popped and sizzled in colorful, luminous grandeur.
Community members of the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria at Hohenfels, Germany celebrated the U.S. federal holiday Independence Day a day early, July 3 at the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment cantonment at Camp Underödenhardt.
As part of the event, Families competed against one another in friendly matches of human tic-tac-toe and volleyball. Children took off their shoes and bounced in inflatable houses. Vendors sold hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, and wings, and some of the Families even brought blankets and their own food out to the field so they could make a picnic of the event.
Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Cooner, an observer / controller – trainer with the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, attended the Freedom Fest with his Family.
"Being separated from America geographically, it's nice to have a taste of America," he said.
As Families got together and enjoyed the event, the evening deepened. Chris Anderson, an operations and plans specialist, took on the duties of MC and DJ and provided the Families music.
Finally, the main event took place, a display of fireworks under the watchful eye of the garrison's local fire department crackled above the crowd as the scent of saltpeter and sulfur billowed over the area.
The communities at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck hold their Fourth of July Celebration on the day itself from 5 to 11 p.m. During their event, the X Ambassadors, an American pop rock band, are scheduled to play a concert with fireworks to follow. Picnics are permitted, but no outside liquor is authorized.