FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson's annual celebration of America's independence is scheduled for 8 p.m., Wednesday, at Hilton Field.
This year's ceremony features a cannon salute to each state and territory of the United States, music by the 282nd Army Band, and a 30-minute fireworks display. Attendees are asked to deactivate car alarms because the concussion from the howitzer cannons being used as part of this evening's ceremony may set off the alarms.
As part of the ceremony, Fort Jackson will honor service members from the Vietnam era.
Food and drink concessions will be available at Hilton Field starting at 4 p.m. Pets, grills, alcoholic beverages, firearms, and personal fireworks are not permitted, and coolers are discouraged in the bleachers. Bleacher and main grandstand seating are available and guests may bring lawn chairs and blankets for use on the field. The softball complex will be open to families with small children and will include games, crafts and carnival type rides.
The evening's festivities will conclude at approximately 10 p.m. When leaving Hilton Field guests are encouraged to pay close attention to departure directions. Traffic routes to the various gates will be tightly controlled and once a motorist is on a specific gate route, there will be no means to take a different route.
Attendees should plan to arrive early for the best seats and parking. Access to the installation may be through Gate 2 (Forest Drive/Strom Thurmond Boulevard), Gate 4 (Percival Road/Boyden Arbor Road) or Gate 5 (Leesburg Road). Non-military ID card holders must possess a valid state or government issued identification card for entry. The vehicle driver must possess a valid driver's license, valid proof of insurance and a valid registration.
After entering the installation, drivers should follow signs and the instructions given by traffic control personnel. Motorcycle riders must also conform to DoD regulations to enter post. Requirements include: wear of a DOT approved helmet, full-fingered gloves, over the ankle boots, long-sleeved shirt/jacket and reflective vest or clothing.
Additionally, all visitors should be aware that random vehicle searches will be conducted at the gates. At 8:45 p.m. gates 1, 4 and 5 will open all lanes to outbound traffic to facilitate the timely exit of vehicles following the fireworks. Gate 2 will allow entry to the post, but late arrivals will be directed to a parking lot from which the fireworks display will be visible.