06-29-11-fort-bragg-4th.jpgIf, after reaching this point in the newspaper, you still aren’t sure what to do on the 4th of July, we have a couple of more suggestions for you.

You may want to drop into Fort Bragg and take in the festivities that ranked #16 on Parade Magazine’s America’s Bucket List.

The entry on #16 reads: Seek out the best 4th of July fireworks within 50 miles of your home. One of the biggest shows is in New York City, where up to six barges detonate simultaneous displays, but every state has spectacular options, like Disneyland Resort’s patriotic explosions in Anaheim, Calif., or the celebration at Fort Bragg in N.C., which includes a thrilling parachuting exhibition.

The event was also named one of the Top 20 events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. It seems that the rest of America has fi nally clued in on what those of us who live in the region have known all along — if you want to celebrate your freedom, there’s no better place to do so than with the men and women who protect it every day. The Fort Bragg 4th of July Celebration has always been a show stopper and this year, it looks to be even better than before.

The annual celebration is held at the Main Post Parade Field, right in the heart of Fort Bragg. Events kick off at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 4, and run throughout the evening, concluding with one of the area’s most inspiring fi reworks displays.

Throughout the afternoon, attendees can watch breathtaking parachute freefall demonstrations; observe the grandeur of the popular flag ceremony; the shock and awe of the fireworks; and take part in what has to be one of America’s largest picnics as thousands of people unfold their blankets, break out their picnic baskets or take advantage of the wide variety of food and beverages that will be available from vendors throughout the evening.

While the Fort Bragg event is known for its patriotic flavor, it’s also known for its musical guests. Each year Fort Bragg welcomes some of the nation’s most popular performers to the stage to delight the community.

In recent years, there has been a decidedly country flavor to the event, and that remains true this year, as the post welcomes Charlie Daniels and Little Big Town to the stage.

Daniels, a native of Wilmington, N.C., is best known for his fiddle playing and his hit songs “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and “In America.”

In recent years, he has made headlines for his support of the military and his views on politics. In 2003, Daniels published an Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch in defense of President George W. Bush’s Iraq policy. His 2003 book Ain’t No Rag: Freedom, Family, and the Flag contains this letter as well as many other personal statements.

Daniels will be joined at the celebration by Little Big Town, a band that is known for its love of music and love of harmony. The band has sold more than 1.5 million records and garnered three Grammy nominations, including The Road to Here’s nomination for album of the year.

Come early and take in all the events and then keep your eyes on the skies for the fireworks show that is sure to please everyone in your family!If you’ve never been to Bragg’s 4th of July activities, the sheer size of the event and the number of people who come may seem overwhelming; however, the post has this event down to a science and if you follow a few simple rules, everything will run smoothly. A complete listing of access points, parking areas and prohibited areas is listed on the Fort Bragg MWR website. While the entire community is welcome, please keep in mind that persons entering the post must have ID and your vehicles are subject to search. No pets or glass bottles are permitted on the parade field, and shelters and umbrellas are allowed only in designated areas.

For more information, visit www. fortbraggmwr.com/sportsrec/specialevents/4thsoe.pdf.

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