By Beth Hillyer
KANEOHE (KHNL) - Preparations are underway for the 18th annual Bayfest this weekend.
MSgt. Scott Ferguson says "The first one I can remember, we had carnival, a few rides, it's grown into such a great event over the years. It's amazing, awe inspiring."
They build the elaborate stage where country stars Gretchen Wilson and Alan Jackson will perform.
Base Deputy Commander Colonel Mark Dungan explains, "We are just very fortunate he was able to come out here. He wanted to participate with us and be part of the military family.
This event is all about family time according to Colonel Dungan, "That's the big part we support the families and this is a time for the families to celebrate not just the Fourth of July but being together while their spouse are forward deployed."
Msgt. Ferguson adds, "It's great to come to a quality event like this where there is something for everyone, the whole family can have a good time."
With no end to the war in sight more deployments are expected, "It's a time to decompress, recharge batteries before they have to go on another deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan or somewhere else.
There will be local entertainment and fireworks every night," says Dungan, "All the service members and their families just enjoy the entertainment and celebrate our country's liberties that we fight so hard for and that's what it's all about."