FORT GORDON, Ga. (WJBF) – Many events are planned for this weekend to celebrate America’s 245th birthday but some people are getting the party started early.

“We’ve been kind of confined for the last year or so, so it’s nice to able to get out and enjoy ourselves again,” said sailor Kenne Vu.

Servicemembers at Fort Gordon kicking off the July 4th weekend in style with a lot of fun on Thursday.

“The fact that we’re coming out of a year of pandemic, kind of hunkering down, this is our first attempt at bringing the community on post and having a large, physical gathering,” said Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Colonel Shaw Pick.

Soldier Sky Dessert said with a laugh, “Considering that every Monday I run around the field and I’m kind of dying just wishing I could go home so it’s kind of cool to actually enjoy Barton Field haha.

“I’ve been here at Fort Gordon for a number of years and every time they have an event it’s really awesome. It’s great for the family, a good time to come out, get the family out, and just enjoy the events,” said Vu.

From rides to eating some great food, to concerts, there was plenty to do on post Thursday.

“It’s one of two days a year that we open the installation to the public and it’s our chance to give back to the public that gives so much to us every year,” said Pick.

There were no cakes and candles for America’s birthday party on post but plenty of fireworks.

“I’m able to go forth and provide for my family while also pursuing a better life for us and there’s no better place to do it than right here (Fort Gordon),” said veteran Andre Dessert.

Colonel Pick added they don’t make a whole lot of money on the Independence Day celebration but it was neither intended that way nor will be.

Fort Gordon, GA (WJBF)- After having to cancel last year, Fort Gordon’s Annual Independence Day Celebration is back!

The event is set to begin at 5 p.m. and go until 11 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public.

There will be more than 30 food and beverage vendors, along with crafts, games, and other family friendly entertainment.

A live concert featuring Country Music acts — Brothers Osborne, Lanco, and Runaway June will begin at 6:30. The fireworks show will take place after the concert.

Weapons of any kind, fireworks, outside food or drinks, pets, tents and coolers will not be allowed.

The gates open at 4 p.m. and anyone 18 or older needs a photo ID to get on post.