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Fourth at the Fort!

June 27, 2017 |

Beaches and Engineer Wharf fishing pier are open at sunrise. Most of the beaches at Fort Monroe will be open to the public all day. City of Hampton lifeguards are on duty at Outlook Beach from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The parking lot for Outlook Beach will close at 12 noon. Engineer Wharf fishing pier will close at 12 noon on July 4th. Fishing is not allowed at any other location at Fort Monroe. Kayak launch on Mill Creek is open from sunrise to sunset. The Fort Monroe Recreation Center is closed on July 4th.

Flag Ceremony at the Flagstaff Bastion near the Casemate Museum at 10 a.m.  Join  for a brief ceremony at Flagstaff Bastion near the Casemate Museum to learn about the life of President James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States and for whom the historic fort was named. This living history program will include a bugler from the 99th NY Volunteer Infantry Regiment who will play an American Civil War arrangement of the National Anthem.  This event is in cooperation with the James Monroe Memorial Foundation and the Fort Monroe National Monument.

Casemate Museum is open from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Casemate Museum chronicles the military history of Fort Monroe and features the cell where Jefferson Davis was briefly imprisoned.  A new exhibit, “Jefferson Davis: Under Lock and Key” opens July 2nd and showcases the original cell door. The museum also highlights Major General Benjamin Butler’s “Contraband Decision” granting sanctuary to three enslaved men and tells the history of the US Coastal Artillery Corps. Fort Monroe National Monument Junior Ranger program information and Passport stamps are also available at the Casemate Museum. Admission is free.

Family Fun in the Wherry Quarter from 6 to 8:30 p.m. As you find your location to view the fireworks, meet representatives from local organizations and engage in free family fun activities. Representatives from Youth Sailing Virginia, Hampton Roads Philharmonic Orchestra, Langley Air Force Base First Sergeant Association, Hampton Roads Transit, Dogs on Deployment, Cox Communications, Daily Press, Casemate Museum, and Fort Monroe National Monument will all be on hand for fun, crafts, games, and information.

Music by the Bay Summer Concert at Wherry Quarter—USAF Heritage of America Jazz Combo will get the evening started with cool jazz selections from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.  The patriotic festivities will continue at 8 p.m. with US Air Force Color Guard and the Heritage of America Concert Band.  Following the playing of the National Anthem, there will be an aircraft flyover provided by Langley Air Force Base.  Guests are encouraged to arrive early and park in designated areas only. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. Food vendors will be onsite selling a variety of different styles of food.  Food vendors include Grapevine Restaurant, Sliders, Best of the Wurst, Little Piggy’s Wurst Nightmare, Jadean’s Smokin Six O, and Kona Ice of Hampton.

Fireworks—this year, Fort Monroe will present a dazzling twist on Fourth of July fireworks! Instead of a traditional aerial fireworks show, an approximately 15-minute close proximity show will be launched from the top of the fortress wall at 9:15 p.m. This show, presented by Pyrotecnico of New Castle, PA, will highlight the unique features of the stone fort. Close proximity fireworks offer a more entertaining show. They are intended to be viewed within a close distance so that the pyrotechnics can be seen from the ground up. The ideal location to view the fireworks is just north of Outlook Beach, along Fenwick Road from the East Gate to Stillwell Road.