Money, hurricane recovery force Camp Lejeune to scale back July 4th celebration

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— Camp Lejeune’s Fourth of July celebration will not be open to the public this year after Hurricane Florence recovery and financial challenges forced organizers to scale down the event.

Camp Lejeune officials said that this year’s celebration will be open only to Department of Defense cardholders and their sponsored guests.

Officials did not say what elements of the celebration might be impacted by the cuts.

“This was an exceptionally difficult decision to make, and we appreciate the general public’s understanding as Camp Lejeune continues to rebuild after Hurricane Florence,” Deputy Commander Col. Scott A. Baldwin said. “We truly hope to make next year’s event a much larger one like we’ve had in the past.”

The last time Camp Lejeune canceled Fourth of July events for the public was in 2013, when federal budget cuts made it difficult to fund the event.