July 1, 2015 --
The sounding of the bell, the raising of the American flag and a melodious voice singing the national anthem at morning colors marked the beginning of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s 2016 Independence Day commemoration, July 1.
Marines in formation, flanked by base personnel and well wishers, gathered in front of Coffman Hall, Building 3500, to kick off the Independence Day holiday and the installation’s day-long celebration, which continued with a line-up of scheduled activities at Covella Pond and Boyett Park, here.
During the evening’s tribute of the nation’s 240th birthday, adults and children cordoned off whatever vacant spaces they could find for their lawn chairs, their blankets and beach towels, while others strolled from vendor-to-vendor in search of tasty treats and beverages.
Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, welcomed the crowd to the base and thanked attendees for accepting the invitation to join in the festivities.
Master Sgt. Alejandra Medina, Retail Chief, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany commented on the purpose and coordination of the event.
“I am out here as part of the Marine Corps Community Services team, “Medina said. “As you know, every year, we put on our big Independence Day celebration. This year, I was fortunate and blessed enough to (be asked) to offer some input on what went on in this event. I’m also here to celebrate our many, many years of history and freedom and to bring a little more out to our community.
“We have Norris Dates and the Power Surge Band, who traveled all the way from Alabama,” she added. “They are going to be doing all of the entertainment this evening. We have the bouncy houses and plenty of entertainment for the kids so they can have a little fun too. We have lots of food (vendors) all around the venue.
“Ms. Darlene Thompson and I are going to be the emcees,” she noted. “We are going to be talking about safety; discussing some administrative notes and announcing upcoming performances and demonstrations from the Military Working Dogs; that’s a cool thing to check out as well.”
Norris Dates, lead vocalist, discussed why he and his Power Surge Band journeyed across state lines to accept the invitation.
“I brought my band to Albany, Georgia to be a part of the celebration (the base) is having,” Dates said. “We’re from Columbus, Georgia; Montgomery, and Tuskegee, Alabama. Today, we’re going to be performing some ‘old school,’ some classic rhythm and blues, some 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and we’re even doing some 2000’s. So, we’ve got something for everybody.”
One local couple, Charles and Deborah Riner said they had attended the base event for more than two decades.
“I’m here to enjoy the festivities,” Deborah said. “I come here every year. We brought our son, Daniel, here since he was a little boy; so we’ve been coming since the very beginning. I would encourage everyone to come out, because there’s a lot to do and a lot of people to see. You never know; sometimes you meet friends you hadn’t seen in years out here too.”
The annual event, which has drawn thousands from the community to the base over its 22-year existence, provided a variety of culinary treats, children’s activities, live musical entertainment and Military Working Dogs demonstrations.
Amidst the “wows” from the thousands of spectators, the highlight of the event culminated after-dark with a spectacular, thunderous fireworks display to cap off the evening.
To view more photos of the Independence Day holiday celebration, visit MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany/512695405469372.