MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Service members and their families gathered to celebrate Independence Day at Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendleton during the 2012 Beach Bash.
For more than 28 years, the Fourth of the July Beach Bash has been held on Camp Pendleton, giving Marines, sailors and their families a day to celebrate the birth of their nation and enjoy the freedoms they sacrifice every day to protect and support.
“Marines having a day at the beach on our nation’s birthday – it doesn’t get much better than that,” said Christina J. Chilleme, the special events manager at Marine Corps Community Services Camp Pendleton.
For years, Camp Pendleton patrons have gathered on Del Mar Beach to celebrate Independence Day. Throughout the years, MCCS has put a tremendous amount of effort to enhance their holiday experience. They have done this by providing several venues and retailers, live bands performing various genres of music, cash prizes, vehicle giveaways, obstacle courses, kids activity areas, patrolling military police to ensure good order and safety, fireworks displays and much more. Del Mar Beach is also one of the last beaches in California that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the beach.
“Everyone is already going to be at the beach, we are just providing some more activities and enhancements for people at the beach,’ said Chilleme. “It’s just our way of saying thank you.”
The beach bash is great for all ages. In 2011, more than 60,000 people filled Del Mar Beach during the beach bash, and this year there was an estimated 40,000 people in attendance.
Having so many people in one place makes safety a top priority. To maintain good order of the event, the Provost Marshal Office, along with other Marine volunteers and civilian police officers, were directing traffic and patrolling the beach area.
“We’re here to inform people and enforce the rules and regulations of Del Mar Beach because safety is key to having a good time at this event,” said Elliot Merhar, a civilian police officer for the Camp Pendleton PMO. “A lot of Marines think we’re here to ruin their fun when in fact, we are here to ensure they have a good time and stay safe.”
For more information on next year’s Fourth of July Beach Bash or future MCCS events, call 760-725-5355 or visit www.MCCSCP.com.