By Vanessa Lynch, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsJuly 12, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii Aca,!" Thousands of Soldiers, families and community members converged on Sills Field, here, to celebrate the nation's 234th birthday with the 39th annual Fourth of July Spectacular, a daylong bash complete with music, games and rides.
Attendees to the event, which was organized by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation were treated to entertainment and music from several acts, including the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Jazz Project, Attitude and Show of Force; Battle-of-the-Bands winner, Delayed Resistance; and the headliner of this year's spectacular, Smash Mouth.
Kicking off the day's events was a 5K run, which boasted 250 adults, as well as a children's 1-Mile Fun Run, which featured 170 participants.
"The event is an annual tradition here, and the turn-out for the running events is up compared to last year," said Jim Perry, sports coordinator, Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Department, FMWR. "We brought in a chip-timing service, which was an attractive feature for our many competitive athletes on island."
Among the children's fun run finishers were Bethany Williams, 7, and her sister, Elizabeth Williams, 10. Their parents, Capt. Bryan Williams, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and Marybeth, cheered them on from the sidelines.
"I'm just really proud of myself because I ran the whole way without stopping," Bethany said. "Now I'm just really tired."
"This event is the best thing to do with kids on the island," said Williams, who has been coming to the Fourth of July Spectacular for the past six years. "It's just a really good way to celebrate and spend time with your family."
Attendees could also try their luck at a variety of games, get close to animals at the petting zoo, as well as watch a military working dog demonstration from the 13th Military Police Detachment, 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC.
As temperatures soared above 90 degrees on the open field, many families sought refuge in their tents to picnic, enjoy the music and get some relief from the sun.
An elaborate fireworks display and an after-show featuring music from Flux Capacitor ended the day's activities.
"I just want to thank everyone for putting this event together. It really keeps us families going," said Dakita Jackson-Ludy, an Army spouse who arrived on island in March. "It's events like these that can get us through the hard times of deployment."
View tons more photos and videos of the fireworks on Flickr.