5,500 celebrate nation's independence at Logistics Base
By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman
| | July 2, 2003
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Approximately 5,500 people celebrated Independence Day early this year, when fireworks lit up the night sky over the base with bursts of color that spanned the rainbow.
Despite the fact that last year's Independence Day event was combined with the base's 50th anniversary and celebrated in March, the crowds poured onto the base, some taking advantage of the bus service from the front gate parking lot and others walking using the improvised walk-through near the front gate for a night of family fun, games and entertainment.
Albany residents joined base employees and military personnel and their families to celebrate freedom, the common thread among Americans.
Attendees had the choice of spreading blankets on the ground or setting up lawn chairs to listen to live music until time for the fireworks. Many took advantage of the opportunity to grab some food or memorabilia from one of the booths set up along the way.
Vendors sold everything from watermelons to funnel cakes; smoked hotdogs to fried chicken and several choice beverages and frosty treats. Representatives from the Base Exchange sold Marine Corps memorabilia such as hats, license plates, key chains and T-shirts.
After filling their children with food commonly associated with a county fair, parents had the opportunity to let their children play on several inflatable attractions, including a giant slide, a rock climb or climbing wall, a giant alligator and a fire truck. Officials with the base's Marine Corps Community Services decided against mechanical rides this year and the decision was apparently a good one. Children seemed to enjoy the 'do-it-yourself' play equally if not more.
Parents also walked beside their children as they rode on one of ponies at the pony riding station. The pony ride was a favorite among toddlers and those too young to compete with the larger children for space on the inflatable attractions.
Provost Marshal's personnel provided security and ensured the safety of those attending by patrolling the area. They also showed off a canine unit's capabilities in several Military Working Dog demonstrations.
The night ended with a fireworks display that reflected several vibrant colors off Covella Pond, punctuating the celebration with one of America's most popular Independence Day's traditions.