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Getting ready for the Fourth
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Fort McAllister Historic Park will celebrate July Fourth with cannon firings, musket demonstrations, like the one shown above center, and more beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday at the park. - photo by File photo
Fourth of July is just around the corner, and that means its time to clean up the outdoor grill in time for backyard barbecues and make plans to hit up the bevy of events taking place through the weekend.
All-day celebrations will be taking place Saturday in Richmond Hill with the Family Fun Festival and Sunday at Fort McAllister Historic Park with cannon demonstrations and other events.
And outside the county, “Worth Fighting For” celebrations are slated for as early as Thursday at Fort Stewart and all day Saturday at Hunter Army Airfield.
The Family Fun Festival, held from noon to 10 p.m. at J.F. Gregory Park, is an annual tradition of the Richmond Hill Recreation Association.
Scheduled events include hot dog and pie eating contests; belly dancers; the Richmond Hill Idol competition; live music from Perception and Nicolette Blount; Name that Tune contest; a dunking tank; inflatables for kids; laser tag; human hamster ball; pony rides; video games; arts and crafts booths; fair food; and more. Fireworks are scheduled for around 9 p.m.
Admission to the Family Fun Festival is free, though food, drinks and some activities will require a fee.
For more information on the Family Fun Festival, call the Richmond Hill Recreation Association at 756-4075. 
Fort McAllister Historic Park has plans to honor Independence Day throughout the weekend, starting off at 7 p.m. Friday with a meet and greet campfire. Campers can meet their neighbors and roast marshmallows until around 8:30 p.m.
There will also be an evening tour at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, but the fun will really get going around 10 a.m. Sunday with the first musket firing demonstration of the day. Other scheduled activities include sack races; egg tosses; cannon firing demonstrations; watermelon cutting and seed spitting contests; wheelbarrow races; and more.
For more information, call Fort McAllister at 727-2339.
Soldiers and their families can enjoy July Fourth a little early Thursday and Friday during the “Worth Fighting For” weekend at Fort Stewart.
Fort Stewart spokesperson Kevin Larson said families of deployed troops need some R & R while their soldiers are away serving, and therefore they deserve to celebrate with a lively Independence Day event.
The installation’s gates will open to the community at 5 p.m. Friday for an outdoor concert at Donovan Field East, featuring En Vogue at 7 p.m. and Darius Rucker at 8:30 p.m. Fireworks will follow.
Larson said concert goers may bring folding chairs and blankets, but coolers, alcohol and pets will not be allowed.
The Independence Day festivities will kick off with a four-person scramble golf tournament at Taylors Creek Golf Course Thursday. Tee-off is at 9 a.m. The tournament fee is $25 per player. To register, call 912-767-2370.
A “Salute to the Nation” and canon salute will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cottrell Field.
Youngsters and adults can enjoy carnival rides at Walker Field, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Rides will be pay-as-you go on Thursday, and free to military members and their families on Friday.
On Thursday, military families can expect plenty of food courtesy of the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee and other caring organizations and individuals. The food court will be located in the area of West Sixth Street and Bundy Avenue, near the AAFES car wash facility.
HMAC has supervised the food court for the past six years, HMAC member Melinda Whalley Schneider said. She noted that several businesses, schools, banks and government entities have promised to help with the food court, but volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, call 912-884-5599.
Military families also can enjoy an interactive game area, petting zoo and Frisbee dog show at Newman Field Thursday. Games will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the petting zoo will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Frisbee dog performances are scheduled for 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
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Similar activities will be going on Friday at the “Worth Fighting For” celebration at Hunter Army Airfield. Gates open to the public at 4 p.m., and the family-friendly event will include a petting zoo; inflatable rides for kids; Frisbee dog shows; live music; and more. The celebration will conclude with a fireworks display around 9:30 p.m. Visitors should enter Hunter via the Montgomery Street Gate.
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