An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News Search
NEWS | June 23, 2010

Freedom Fest 2010: NWS to host all-American celebration July 2

By Eric Sesit Naval Weapons Station Charleston Public Affairs

Burgers, hot dogs, lemonade, homemade ice cream and a cool dip on a hot summer day, follow it up with juicy watermelon and a spectacular fireworks show, and you'll have the makings of an all-American Fourth of July weekend.

As in years past, the annual Freedom Fest is scheduled to be held July 2 on Naval Weapons Station Charleston at Marrington Plantation, just off Red Bank Road. What originally began as a simple Fourth of July picnic many years ago, has morphed into a celebration drawing in crowds from around the area.

According to David Holt, NWS Morale, Welfare and Recreation, this year's Freedom Fest has something for everyone.

"Besides the traditional Fourth of July foods, we'll have exciting games and activities for the entire family," he said. "In addition to the inflatable jump castles and slides, we'll have sumo suit wrestling, jousting tournaments and, new for this year, is the hot air balloon rides."

The balloon rides will be available depending on weather conditions. Riders can expect to board the gondola and be lifted about 30 to 50 feet above ground.

"The balloon will be tethered to the ground, so you won't float off and miss the fireworks show," Mr. Holt said.

The highlight of the Fourth of July celebration is the fireworks and this year will be no exception, with the fireworks display beginning at approximately 9 p.m. There is plenty of free parking inside the plantation and the gates open at 5 p.m. Admission is free and attendees should bring their lawn chairs and blankets, as well as some insect repellent.

If attendees miss the fireworks at Marrington Plantation, they can still enjoy all the upcoming holiday weekend has to offer by heading over to Short Stay, the Navy's Recreational facility on Lake Moultrie. Although the campground and cabins will have high occupancy, families can enjoy an evening of Karaoke July 2 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The festivities will continue July 3 with a street dance from 7 to 11 p.m., as well as a fireworks display at approximately 9 p.m. July 4 there will be a free showing of "Alice in Wonderland" beginning at dark.

Admission fee to enter Short Stay is $1 per person, 50 cents for children ages 6 to 13 and free for 5 and younger.

For a base map of NWS Charleston, visit Select "Navy" under "Base Guides," then "NWS Charleston."