The summer is hot, and it’s going to get a lot hotter when Summer Jam, an annual Fort Bragg event, returns this month. Only this time, the event, which is usually held on the hot pavement of the Fort Bragg Fairgrounds will chill a little, as it makes the Crown Coliseum its new home. Summer Jam XXIV is slated for July 24, and while the venue may be different the same phenomenal talent and fun that has made it such a successful event has not changed.

Admittedly, there are some pros and cons to the new location.07-21-10-summerjam_.gif

“We don’t have to worry about things like parking and heat-related illness,” said Rhett Stroupe, special events coordinator at Fort Bragg Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). “Although the seating capacity is 8,200 at the Crown, at the fair grounds it is 12,000, and usually that is fi lled up.”

Sponsored by Fort Bragg MWR and local radio station Foxy 99, the entertainment is scheduled to include Ludacris, Monica, Rick Ross, Lyfe Jennings, Gyptian, J Cole, Cali Swag District, Party Boyz and Danny Bee.

“Our line up is very good this year,” said Stroupe. “It is probably one of the best that we’ve had as far as artists go, and last week we added Fantasia to the list as well. I think the word is out among the artists that this is a very good show and it is also an opportunity to entertain our soldiers.”

The pre-party starts at noon in the lower parking lot of the Crown Center. Doors for the concert open at 4 p.m. and the concert starts at 5:30 p.m. The concert is open to the public. While Summer Jam is a popular event that the soldiers and community look forward to every year, Stroupe sees this as more than just at show.

“This is an opportunity to provide quality entertainment for our soldiers and the local community and to provide them an escape from the stressors of every day life,” he said.

In addition to putting on a top notch event, the organizers have added a new twist this year for certain audience members.

“One thing we are doing different this year is that active-duty military are eligible for one free ticket. They have to go to the Tickets and Tours offi ce here on post to get it, and the deadline is close of business Wednesday, July 21,” he said.

A valid military ID card must be presented in order to receive a free ticket. Please note that ID cards will be checked at the venue as well. Stroupe recommends that soldiers picking up a free ticket who are planning to attend the event with friends and family should consider purchasing tickets when they pick up theirs to be sure that seats will be together. Tickets range in price from $20 to $40, and they can be purchased through the Crown Coliseum box offi ce, Tickets and Tours on Fort Bragg, Ticketmaster or Foxy99 Ticket Stops. All sales are fi nal and tickets are nonrefundable.

For more information, visit the Website at www.fortbraggmwr.com or call 396-9126.

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