By Tech. Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow, 31st Fighter Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published July 07, 2020
Families of Aviano Air Base participate in a Fourth of July celebration, July 4, 2020, Aviano Air Base, Italy. The event was put on by the 31st Force Support Squadron and included a live virtual concert, food, and a fireworks show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)
Members of the Community Center check in participants to a Fourth of July celebration, July 4, 2020, Aviano Air Base, Italy. The event was put on by the 31st Force Support Squadron and included a live virtual concert, food, and a fireworks show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)
The 31st Force Support Squadron held an Independence Day event, July 4, 2020, at Aviano AB. The event was held outside at Freedom Park and included food, movies and a fireworks show.
A brief explanation of the holiday according to The History Channel states, “From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and local guidance, the event was restricted to 1,000 people. Those who attended had to sign up with the Community Center beforehand to reserve a spot for the celebration. Areas of the event were physically separated to adhere to local social distancing guidelines.
For those that could not attend, 31st FSS also made the fireworks show available to watch by livestreaming to their Facebook page and offered Fourth of July ‘swag bags,’ which contained a shirt, sunglasses, and kids crafts, for the event.
This event was a cooperation effort between the Community Center, Marketing and other various aspects of the force support squadron, as well as local authorities.
Community Center director Serena Johnson explained, “We had to have several meetings with ITAF and the Carabinieri to ensure everything we wanted to do was allowed per the Italian decrees.”
“A lot of hard work and time went into this event,” said Johnson. “Being overseas is hard enough already and after what we as a community just went through with the lockdown, we knew we had to do what we could to show Aviano that we can make it through anything. Providing some kind of ‘home’ is very important to FSS.”
The 31st FSS has had to adapt their usual community events to follow local health restrictions in the midst of the current COVID-19 situation. Upcoming FSS events, such as an outdoor “Movie Under the Stars” on July 10th and outdoor BINGO in August, can be found by visiting www.31fss.com or their Facebook page, 31st Force Support Squadron.