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Fort Jackson to Celebrate Independence Day

Fort Jackson will celebrate America’s independence, July 2, with an evening of festivities starting at 4 p.m. Fort Jackson’s neighbors are invited to share in the evening’s festivities.

There will be kiddie rides and games on Hilton Field at 4 p.m. and the welcome and flyover starting at 6:30 p.m.  The Root Doctors will kick off the entertainment followed by Mýa Marie Harrison, an American singer-songwriter.  

This year’s formal ceremony features the “Torchlight Tattoo” which is scheduled for 9 p.m., and includes a cannon salute to each state and territory of the United States, music by the 282nd Army Band, and a 30-minute fireworks display.

The tattoo is deeply rooted in military history.   The original tattoo was a military drum performance and signified the time of the musical call for civilian establishments to turn off the taps, and for soldiers to make their torch-lit walk back to their encampments to retire for the evening.  In this usage, the word tattoo comes from the Dutch “doe den tap toe” meaning “to turn off the taps.”   This word was linked to the noise made by mallets used to shut the beer barrels.  That noise sounded like a drum.  Since then, the word was used to signify the last military call before curfews.

Access to the installation for non-military affiliated people may be through Gate 2 (Forest Dr./Strom Thurmond Blvd.), or Gate 4 (Percival/Boyden Arbor Rd.). Everyone older than 16 must possess a valid state or government issued identification card for entry.  The vehicle driver must possess a valid driver’s license, valid proof of insurance and a valid registration. Once entering the installation drivers should follow signs and the instructions given by traffic control personnel.

Motorcycle riders must also conform to Department of Defense regulations to enter post and requirements include: wear of a DOT approved helmet, full-fingered gloves, over the ankle boots, long-sleeved shirt/jacket and reflective vest or clothing.

Anyone planning to attend the festivities and should plan to arrive early for the best seats and parking, and to avoid being turned away at the last minute.  Additionally, all visitors should be aware that random vehicle searches will be conducted at the gates.  

Food and drink concessions will be available at Hilton Field starting at 4 p.m.  Prohibited item include: pets (service animals are allowed), grills, alcoholic beverages, firearms, any type of explosive and personal fireworks of any type, clothing or signage with offensive or vulgar language, laser pens and pointers, noise-making devices such as horns and whistles.  Coolers are not allowed in the bleachers.  Any unattended items will be subject to confiscation and/or destruction by military police.

Bleacher and main grandstand seating are available and guests may bring lawn chairs and blankets for use on the field.  There will be various activities open to families with small children and will include games, crafts and rides.

The Torchlight Tattoo will start at 9 p.m. followed by the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m., and the evening’s festivities will conclude at approximately 10 p.m.  On leaving Hilton Field guests are encouraged to pay close attention to departure directions as traffic routes to the various gates will be tightly controlled and once on a specific gate route there will be no means to take a different route.

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