The United States Marine Corps will invade Charlotte by land, air and sea for the military branch’s Marine Week on Sept. 5-9, Col. Matthew Phares announced today in a joint press conference with city, county and tourism officials.
“We are very excited to bring more than 700 Marines, scores of military equipment and more to the city so Charlotteans can develop a deeper understanding of and relationship with your Marine Corps,” Colonel Phares said.
The five days of Marine Week will feature hands-on displays, live demonstrations, time-honored traditions, musical performances and more at First Ward Park in uptown Charlotte. The public will have the opportunity to climb aboard state-of-the-art aircraft and ground equipment, work out with Marines, observe wreath laying ceremonies honoring Gold Star families, take in the sights and sounds of the Silent Drill Platoon and Marine Corps Band and visit a traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall. The week will culminate with a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) show, where troops will demonstrate the air, ground and logistical elements of combat at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. All events, which are listed at www.usmarineweek.com, are free and open to the public.
“More than 75 events are scheduled throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, so there is truly something for everyone,” Colonel Phares said. “Regardless of your age or interests, our team along with dozens of local partners have assembled a variety of activities that will allow everyone to immerse themselves in the Corps’ mission and lifestyle.”
The Marine Corps developed Marine Week in 2006 to help connect with the American public in the central part of the country, since the branch is stationed primarily on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Previous host cities include Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle, Phoenix, Nashville and Detroit.
“What an honor it is for Charlotte to host such a unique and prestigious event,” said City of Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, who presented a proclamation to the Marine Corps officially declaring Sept. 5-9 Marine Week in Charlotte. “Marine Week will provide Charlotteans with the unique experience to directly connect with hundreds of Marines, and I hope all our residents will take full advantage of this exciting opportunity.”
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour, who was active in the Marine Corps for 11 years and served two tours in Iraq, shares in the enthusiasm for Marine Week coming to his hometown.
“As a native Charlottean and Mecklenburg County Commissioner, I’m grateful that the Marines chose Charlotte for this year’s event and are tapping into all the county has to offer including First Ward Park,” he said. “And, as a Marine, I’m thrilled that my friends, family and constituents will have the chance to bond with the Corps that I know and love.”
Economic impact studies in both St. Louis and Nashville approximated $7 million was reinvested into the host cities as a result of Marine Week activities. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority commended the Marines for producing such an engaging public program that not only provides special experiences for attendees but also financially contributes to the community it visits each year.
“We are fortunate to live in a city that attracts so many visitor-worthy draws like Marine Week,” said CRVA Chief Executive Officer Tom Murray. “I know our residents and hospitality community will eagerly welcome these attendees into our city, and we’ll all look forward to the engaging programming the Corps will have to offer while in Charlotte.”
About Marine Week
Join the United States Marine Corps in Uptown Charlotte this September for a celebration of Community, Country and Corps. From Sept. 5 – 9, Marine Week Charlotte will feature hands-on displays, live demonstrations, time-honored Marine Corps traditions, musical performances and other events to showcase the history, military capabilities and community involvement of the Corps. For more information, go to www.usmarineweek.com.
About the U.S. Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nov. 10, 1775, and has been America’s expeditionary force in readiness since. Marines are forward-deployed to respond swiftly and aggressively in times of crisis from the air, land and sea. Today, 188,000 Marines actively serve, and another 38,900 Marines are in the Reserves.
SOURCE Marine Week