July 24 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, July 5, 2014
They say there’s no place like home, but a small corner of Norfolk became the land of the free for thousands of Americans yesterday as they enjoyed Independence Day celebrations.
Revellers from inside and outside RAF Feltwell enjoyed barbecue, funnel cake and fireworks as the base’s Fourth of July festivities took place.
Fairground rides and traditional carnival fun were on show, as well as the chance to see the base’s birds of prey.
At 6pm the roiling crowds stopped and villagers took to the streets to witness the streaming red,white and blue of the Red Arrows in full flight, who flew in from Lincoln for a special display.
The day was topped in typical US fashion with a spectacular fireworks display.
Col Kyle Robinson, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, said the event was bigger and better than ever after it was called off last year.
“It was disappointing last year as it’s the one opportunity we get to open the base up to the community.
“But today has just been fantastic. The weather is amazing, the rides are great, there’s so much food and refreshments to choose from and everyone is having a great time,” he said.
Col Robinson added that as a US outpost, the base’s men and women appreciated the significance of the day even more.
“For a lot of us it’s a chance to do what we would be doing back home. To be honest, it’s much bigger than back home, it’s a carnival atmosphere,” he said.
Base staff said the day was an authentic Independence Day experience.
Dominic Kerry, a medic at Lakenheath from California, said: “I’ve lived on bases most of my life and it’s similar to what I’ve experienced there. But sometimes I forget where I am, look around and realise I’m in England.”
Lucas Delk, a mechanic at Lakenheath from Florida, said: “We always do the same things back home with a fair and fireworks so this is great - it’s just like it.”
Go to www.edp24.co.uk to see a short video from the day.