YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan brought a little bit of America on base, celebrating Independence Day, where the whole Community had the opportunity to gather and have time together here, July 4.

"I'm excited," said Master Sgt. Marvel Hargis, who works with the 8th Army Equal Employment Office. "I'm having a great time with my loved ones and I definitely appreciate the Army for providing us with such a great day."

Many different events were prepared in celebration of the 236th United States birthday, where Korean nationals from outside the installation were also invited to enjoy the festivities. The 5K family fun run kicked off the festivities, while the Army in Korea Intramural Softball Tournament was held at the Lombardo Field throughout the entire day.

During the evening, music, food and live entertainment prepared by the Family, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation; R&R Bar and Grill, Absolute Band, and the 8th Army band highlighted the day. Festival-goers enjoyed a fair-like atmosphere featuring traditional American and Korean entertainment, cultural performances, youth and adult activities, information and food booths, and of course a fireworks display.

Some evening events, including a watermelon eating contest and a blueberry in the pie hunting contest, were also drew people's participation and attention. Winners were awarded with The Exchange gift cards.

"I'm full," said Pvt. Edward Sanchez from the 35th Brigade at Camp Carroll, who won second place in the watermelon eating contest. "I just flew here to Korea from the States, so I'm still in a process to getting used to a new place. I'm glad that the celebration is on today because it helps me from feeling homesick."

Sponsorship appreciation awards were presented by the USAG Yongsan command leadership, Col. William Huber and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Willing, and also followed by a grand prize drawing of two round-trip tickets to the U.S.

When asked about the July 4th celebrations, Sgt. 1st Class Terry Williams, from 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, expressed his appreciation for such an event since it helped him feel at home.

"I came out to celebrate the 4th of July and am having a wonderful time here with my family," Williams said. "This kind of event is awesome especially when I am away from home. I get an opportunity to build fellowship with other Soldiers and get some time off."