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Star Spangled Festival a Hit

By Airman 1st Class Candace Romano | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 17, 2006

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas — Food, fun and fireworks.

These are all mandatory items for Fourth of July celebrations. This year, those who attended the 28th Annual Star Spangled Festival at the base amphitheater grounds got a little something extra Tuesday - a lightning storm.

Ominous clouds, storms and lightning within five miles of the base were not enough to dampen the moods of thousands of event-goers and their patriotic celebrations during the Fourth of July event. According to security forces estimates, more than 12,000 people turned out for this year's festivities.

"Even with all the threatening weather bulletins, there was a large turnout of people from the base and the general public," said Sandy Hillard, 37th Services Division project coordinator for the Star Spangled Festival. "The event was very successful."

The festival featured live music by Mark Monaco and the Liberty Band, food booths, an arts and crafts show, children's activities and a fireworks extravaganza.

Ms. Hillard said the teen candy sales booth was the most successful this year, with the support of the basic trainees and technical school students. Doggin' Dave's DJ tent was also popular with the younger crowd, while the newest attraction, a paint ball booth offered by the Lackland Outdoor Adventure Center, was also a hit.

The fireworks display was set off early due to pouring rain, and many huddled under trees and tents to watch the show. Fifteen minutes of fireworks coupled with famous American tunes and the occasional lightning bolt had the audience captivated.
"Even when some people left because of the rain, others came," said Ms. Hillard. "They were a tough crowd -they definitely wanted to celebrate the Fourth."

Two hundred thirty years later, freedom, independence and the "land of the free and the home of the brave" were celebrated once again.