The base's annual Independence Day celebration will feature live performances, car show, games, rides, food, entertainment, and, of course, Fort Leonard Wood's large fireworks display.
Fort Leonard Wood’s Independence Day celebration will feature several live performances, including music by Christiana Ball, a former drill sergeant and the Army’s 2013 Operation Rising Star winner, and country singer/songwriter Kelleigh Bannen, who is currently on tour promoting her album “Cheap Sunglasses” and is known for her country singles “Smoke When I Drink” and “Famous.”
Prior to Christiana and Kelleigh’s performances, there will be games, food and other entertainment to kick off the event.
The annual event, which is free and open to the public, gets underway at 3 p.m., Tuesday on Fort Leonard Wood’s Gammon Field.
“Gammon Field will be open, and we’ll have some of the things we’ve had before, including a car show, static displays of military vehicles, interactive games, rides and more,” said Eli Wilson, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Community Activities manager.
Also returning this year will be two, 20-minute performances by the Kansas City Disc Dogs, and a cornhole tournament.
The cornhole event, which made its debut last year, will let two-person teams face off in a single-elimination format tournament, which begins at 3 p.m. Entry is free.
“Last year, we switched back and forth between cornhole, volleyball and horseshoes – cornhole had the biggest turnout, so we decided to do it again,” Wilson said.
The largest fireworks display in central Missouri will cap off the evening’s celebration of America’s independence.
“We will have Christiana perform, then we will have our annual ceremony and 50-Gun Salute to the Nation, followed by Kelleigh Bannen around 8 p.m. Then, we’ll have the largest fireworks display in central Missouri,” Wilson said.
Bring cash for food
Throughout the event, food and beverages will be available for purchase. This year, due to a change in format, Wilson is advising visitors to bring cash.
“It’s going to be a little different this year,” Wilson said. “In the past, FMWR has sold tickets and visitors traded those tickets for food and beverages. This year, people are going to pay directly to the vendors. Because we felt there aren’t too many of them able to accept credit or debit (cards), we suggest bringing cash.”
Wilson said ATMs will be available on the field.
The Fort Leonard Wood Independence Day Celebration features festival seating, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.
During the event, no pets or personal coolers will be allowed on Gammon Field, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages not purchased at the venue is prohibited.
Parking and seating for persons with disabilities will be available for those displaying a handicap license plate or tag.
No bicycles, skateboards or rollerblades will be allowed on the venue.
For more information about the event, contact the Community Wide Activities office at 573.596.0131, ext. 66913, or visit leonardwood.armymwr.com.
Golf tourney, 5k
Area golfers and runners can get a jump on the celebration by participating in the annual Red, White and Blue Golf Tournament on Saturday and the These Colors Don’t Run 5k early Tuesday.
The golf tournament begins at 8 a.m., Saturday with a shotgun start at Piney Valley Golf Course.
Open to players ages 13 and older, entry fees are $40 per player, which includes greens fees, cart and a barbecue lunch. Advance Greens Fees members receive a $10 discount. For more information, call 573.329.4770.
These Colors Don’t Run 5k begins at 8 a.m. at Davidson Fitness Center. This annual “color run” includes stations where race officials coat participants in red and blue powdered color at various points along the course. Same-day entry is $20, and includes a plain, white T-shirt. Registration will be held at 7 a.m. For more information, call 573.596.0131, ext. 64359.