EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – The largest privately funded military celebration in the U.S. is happening in Evans on Saturday, May 20th.
Thunder Over Evans, which has been around since 2008, is meant to honor service members of all branches for Armed Forces Day. Organizers braved Thursday’s rainy weather to set up for the event.
“Rain or shine, the event will still move forward,” said Don Clark, one of the event organizers.
This year, they’re doing a special tribute to a unit out of the CSRA who served during the Vietnam War.
“Vietnam generation had a rough go of it. When they came back, the reception they received from the country was not complimentary,” Clark said. “We want to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore, and that they understand that they, too, can be proud of their service.”
The main draw is an extravagant fireworks show, but there will also be vendors, music and interactive activities.
It is funded by sponsorships and Columbia County.
“It’s pretty difficult to put everything together, many many many man-hours,” said Shane Thompson, another event organizer. “But, everybody who’s involved kind of puts themselves into it and takes ownership, and that’s what we look for to make everything the best it can be.”
They’re expecting a big turnout, which means traffic and road closures.
Evans Town Center Blvd and Antebellum Way will close at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Parking will only be available in the government complex off of Ronald Reagan Drive and at the Evans Towne Center Plaza.
“We’re really hoping to have some people park here, grab a drink, and head on up,” said Natalie Jacobs, the co-owner of Goat Kick Coffee Company.
Hopefully, there won’t be any actual thunder.
“The idea that we celebrate those who serve, all wrapped up into one wonderful, patriotic event,” Thompson said.
The free event starts at 6:15 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m. For more information, click here.