An official army family and MWR Site

Independence Celebration

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In a typical summer, we celebrate Independence Day a little early at Fort Benning. The annual Independence Celebration stands to celebrate our nations’ independence, and to provide Soldiers and their families a safe environment to consume music, fireworks show, and fun in the sun! 

This year’s Independence Celebration will be June 25, 5:30 - 11 p.m. on York Field on Eckel Avenue, in front of McGinnis-Wickam Hall.  Two large, side-by-side main stages, presented by Kia AutoSport, will feature multiplatinum troubadour Andy Grammer at 9:30 p.m. and five-time Grammy Award Winning singer-songwriter-producer CeeLo Green at 8 p.m.!

Andy Grammer continues to engage, energize, and empower audiences with stomping stadium-size pop anthems meant to be shared at full volume. His observations and affirmations pick you back up when you need it, affirm your potential, and encourage you to keep going. His catalog consists of numerous bona fide hits, including the quadruple-platinum “Honey, I’m Good.”

CeeLo Green cannot be summed up in just one title. He is a five-time Grammy Award Winning singer-songwriter-producer, television personality, actor, entrepreneur, pop culture and fashion icon. In 2011, CeeLo received five Grammy nominations for his worldwide hit “Forget You,” winning the category for “Best Ur-ban/Alternative Performance.”

Special guest Runaway June takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. Proclaimed by Billboard as the "Next Hot Trend in Country Music" and likened to The Chicks for a new generation, the trio's Top 5 single, "Buy My Own Drinks," was the highest charting song by a female group since The Chicks in 2003.

Black Rhino Sound, the electrifying Texas DJ, kicks off the evening and energizes the crowd at 5:30 p.m.

The celebration will also include a Kids Zone, aerial demonstrations by the Silver Wings and Fries & Spies, 34-foot jump towers and a variety of vendors with food and beverages available for purchase. The MCoE Band concludes the evening with a performance on the Kia AutoSport Stage that includes a patriotic score choreographed to the largest, grandest fireworks show in the Chattahoochee Valley.

The 2022 Fort Benning Independence Celebration is free to attend and open to the public. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. on York Field, located on Eckel Avenue in front of McGinnis-Wickam Hall, Building 4.

Fort Benning’s 2022 Independence Celebration is sponsored by KIA AutoSport, USAA, and Recon.  (Sponsorship does not imply endorsement.)

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Schedule of Events

3:30 p.m.

Trainee area opens (Trainees are assigned to Gardner Field)

 

Food trucks on Gardner Field are open (food available for purchase on Gardner Field for Trainee’s only!)

4 p.m.

DJ Black Rhino kicks off Gardner Field (Trainee area)

5:30 p.m.

Venue OPENS to General Public on York Field

 

Food trucks on York Field are open, food must be purchased with tokens

 

Kids Zone (on York Field) and 34-foot jump towers are open

 

DJ Black Rhino kicks off York Field

6:30 p.m.

Runaway June

7:30 p.m.

Aerial Demonstrations by the Silver Wings and Fries & Spies

7:55 p.m.

Remarks by MG P. Donahoe, Commanding General of Fort Benning

8 p.m.

CeeLo Green

9:30 p.m.

Andy Grammar

10:55 p.m.

MCoE Band performance

 

Largest Fireworks show in the Chattahoochee Valley

Schedule is subject to change
Field Layout

Coming Soon

Gate Access Information

Access to Fort Benning for non-military and non CAC ID card holders requires vetting. We require 100% ID Check!

BEAT THE LONG LINES!  Plan ahead and get pre-vetted one week (7 days) prior to the Independence Celebration online OR at the Lindsey Creek Visitor Control Center (Prior to the Main Gate, I-185).

Click here to submit your online IDC FIREWORKS PASS request (please note, all online submissions will be processed when submitted, but passes will not be available for pick up until 7 days prior to the event date!)

After approval, you must stop by the Visitor Control Center (open 24 hrs.) to be issued an IDC FIREWORKS PASS that allows you to access Fort Benning on June 25 at 5 p.m. at any gate!

Please note: ONLY pre-vetted visitors with an approved IDC FIREWORKS PASS (all visitors must have an IDC FIREWORKS PASS in hand for everyone 18 years or older in the car) will have access to the installation without any additional vetting on June 25!

If you do not pick up your IDC FIREWORKS Pass and you arrive at the Visitor Control Center on 25 June, you will be sent to the SPECIAL EVENTS GATE - ACP 2 - Benning Road ACP (Gate past the National Infantry Museum).

If you didn’t get pre-vetted and/or don't have an IDC FIREWORKS PASS you MUST enter Fort Benning on June 25 thru our SPECIAL EVENTS GATE - ACP 2 - Benning Road ACP (Gate past the National Infantry Museum) starting at 4 p.m. to get vetted. No exceptions!

Trusted Traveler will remain in effect and all vehicles and bags are subject to a cursorily screening.

No guns, knives, or weapons of any kind are allowed! Please remember, leave your dogs at home, service dogs are permitted. 

What you will need: a valid state or federal ID for each person over the age of 18 in the vehicle wanting to attend the Fort Benning Independence Celebration.

Click here for more IDC FIREWORKS PASS information!

Sponsorship Opportunities

More than 20,000 people attended the 2021 Independence Celebration, making this event the single largest opportunity we offer our sponsors to reach the Fort Benning community. If you would like to learn more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities, email mary.s.beck4.naf@army.mil today!

Become a Food Vendor

We have thousands of mouths to feed, y'all! MWR is looking for Food Vendors who are interested in supporting our annual Independence Celebration on June 25! If you or someone you know would like to participate, contact Carolyn Shelton at carolyn.h.shelton.naf@army.mil. Be sure to include the name of your business, food menu, prices and insurance. Vendors who sign up to join us for Independence Day will also have the opportunity to come to other MWR-facilitated Special Events for THREE years!

What are Tokens? Why Do I Need Them and Where Do I Get Them?

Tokens are needed to pay for all food and beverages. Admission is free, as well as the entertainment, children’s activities, fireworks and parking.  MWR uses tokens at our large events to help speed up the process of ordering and paying for food and beverages. The vendors appreciate the ease of not having to return change. BUT don’t wait in line! Pre-sale of tokens will begin June 10 at the following MWR locations:

  1. Bowling & Entertainment Center, 6530 Eckel Avenue, building 2785, Fort Benning - Mon-Thur: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday: 12-8 p.m. and Sunday 12-6 p.m.
  2. Outdoor Recreation & Equipment Rental, 7310 Gillespie Street, building 1707, Fort Benning – Mon: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tue-Thur: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fri: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  3. DFMWR Headquarters, 6850 Barron Avenue, building 85, Fort Benning – Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  4. A token trailer will be set-up at the event for our customer’s convenience. $1 per token. UNUSED tokens can be exchanged for a full refund at the event, or Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the DFMWR Headquarters, starting June 27.
Prices - How Many Tokens Do I Need?

We will have tons of food and beverages available for purchase. Once we get closer to the event, come back and check this section to see which food we will offer and what you can expect.  We will add each food vendor menu to make your mouth watery. Please find below and estimate on what our food vendor’s prices will look like!

Price list coming soon.

FAQs

Where can I park?  Parking will be available in designated areas around McGinnis-Wickam Hall, at Smith Fitness Center, Bldg. 6, and near designated ranges along Dixie Road.

Food and beverages available for purchase?  Food and beverage are back this year!  We will be serving a variety of food for all your cravings...especially the FUNNEL CAKES! Check out the section for vendors/menu’s and get your estimate on what you will spend.

Can we bring coolers/refreshments?  Coolers are allowed, but there will be plenty of food and beverage vendors available. No outside alcoholic beverages are permitted.

Kids activities?  Of course!  We will have the KIDS ZONE - a kids area set up for youth of all ages to enjoy inflatables, crafts, crazy hair, face painting, Bixie the Basic Bus and more...plus it is all FREE!

Can we bring pets?  No. For safety and sanitation reasons, please leave your pets at home. Service dogs are permitted.

What are tokens for? I thought this was a free event?  Tokens are needed to pay for all food and beverages. Admission is free, as well as the entertainment, children’s activities, fireworks and parking.

Do I need cash to pay for tokens?  No, we can accept debit and credit cards.

Will there be an ATM available?  Yes, there is an ATM located in McGinnis-Wickam hall and at Kinetic Credit Union.

What if I have tokens left at the end of the night?  You can return your tokens for a full refund at the token tent/trailer OR you can come by the DFMWR Headquarters, starting June 27, 6850 Barron Avenue, building 85, Fort Benning – Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and receive your refund.

  • But your best choice is to keep those tokens for our next big event: Oktoberfest, October 21-23, 2022 at Uchee Creek! (Mark your calendar and save the date!)

Will there be a shaded area?  Yes! A large shade tent will be set up with fans. 

Can we bring lawn chairs, blankets, canopies or grills?  Yes! Small canopies are allowed; they can be set up in the designated area, towards the back of York field.  NO you may not bring grills.  

Will there be trainees?  Yes, but Trainees are assigned to Gardner Field, will have their own food vendors and will enjoy the night in their area.

Prohibited items:  No guns, knives, or weapons of any kind are allowed. No professional cameras or glass bottles. For security reasons, please be prepared for random security checks. No pets allowed. Small canopies (no sides or enclosures) in designated areas only. Smoking allowed in designated areas only.

What if it rains?  The rain date for the FIREWORKS ONLY is the following day, June 26. No vendors, entertainment, etc. will be set up. Stay up to date on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BenningFMWRfans.

 

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