Fort Eustis to celebrate 100th birthday with open house celebration

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Fort Eustis is turning 100 years old, and to celebrate it’s hosting events for the community.

Officials say it’s the first time in eight years they’re holding an open house event.

The celebration kicks off Friday night with a live broadcasted Legacy MMA Fight Night.

Donna Fontes, the Fort Eustis deputy for Force Support Squadron for JBLE, says the event is a way to show the community their appreciation for years of support.

“We’d love them to come in and see what we do, why do we it, and how we do it,” Fontes said about the army base.

On Saturday, there will be a number of activities for all ages groups including bounce houses, petting zoos, carnival rides, laser tag, zip lines, concerts and food trucks, according to Fontes.

She says they’ve been busy preparing.

“I’m really excited. This is the first time we’ve opened up the installation since 2010,” she said.

And she’s not the only one excited.

Colonel Jennifer Walkawicz, who is commander of the 733rd Mission Support Group, says this will give the public a chance to explore the base some might not have visited before.

“A lot of people know we’re here but other than driving by a sign on I-64, a lot of people haven’t had the opportunity to see what makes Fort Eustis great,” she said.

Walkawicz says 20,000 strong, including active military, civilians, and families make up the base that’s played its role in history by providing manpower for the Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and current wars.

She’s hoping that visitors can come and enjoy everything they have to offer and leave understanding all that soldiers do.

“We want people to take away how incredibly strong and smart and brave our soldiers are. We’ve got some soldiers doing phenomenal  things in defense and any time we get an opportunity to showcase that, to me, that’s the biggest takeaway,” she said.

The door opens to the MMA fight on Friday at 6 p.m.

You will need to show your government issued ID at the main gate.

This weekend’s festivities are rain or shine.

For more information about times and what you can bring, visit http://www.jble.af.mil/forteustis100years/.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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