Camp Lejeune opens its gates for a star-studded Independence Day celebration

LL Cool J

LL Cool J

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM.

The weather may be hot and the fireworks explosive, but the entertainment at the Fourth of July celebration aboard Camp Lejeune this week will be downright “Cool.”

Yolanda Mayo, deputy operations officer for Marine Corps Community Services at Camp Lejeune and event coordinator, said the celebration begins at W.P.T. Hill Field at 4 p.m. and will include about 30 minutes of fireworks, entertainment from the 2nd Marine Division Rock Band, opening act Mike Corrado and a headliner: LL Cool J.

“We wanted to give a wonderful show this year,” she said.

Mayo said they’re planning for crowd of about 35,000 at the event, which is free and open to the public, due in part to last year’s sequestration and subsequent cancelation of the base’s fireworks display, but also to this year’s primary entertainer — international pop and movie star LL Cool J. 

“LL Cool J is a huge supporter of our military,” Mayo said, noting that within an hour of announcing him as the headliner at this year’s celebrations, the MCCS website got more than 30,000 hits.

LL Cool J gained initial fame as a rapper in the 80s and has appeared in more than 30 movies. He currently stars in NCIS: Los Angeles as an ex-Navy SEAL, and still performs as a music artist. LL Cool J has performed in the area before and has a brother who lives in the region, Mayo said. 

In the event of inclement weather, most notably due to the effects of Tropical Storm Arthur, Mayo said MCCS will announce a cancelation of the festivities on its website and through press releases to local media. They have a rain date designated for fireworks only on July 5. 

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