There is a significant military presence in North Carolina. All four branches are represented in some way, from Seymour Johnson Airforce Base in Goldsboro and Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point closer to Carteret County.
On Memorial Day, the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores will host Sea Stars and Stripes as a way to salute active-duty military and their families.
The event, which is held from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 26, is specifically designed for military members who have young children.
The event will include a dinner, live-animal presentations and take-home crafts children of all ages can enjoy.
“This is a new program,” Anna Greene, aquarium special activities instructor, said in a recent press release. “We haven’t done anything specifically for active military families before and hope to change that through this special event.”
Ms. Greene said the event is intended to be something nice for military families to show appreciation for everything they do for the state and country.
“We are in a very unique situation where there are so many military bases and stations around us, such as Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune, the U.S. Coast Guard Stations at Fort Macon and on Emerald Isle, and the U.S. Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field in Bogue, just to name a few,” she said. “This event will also give military families new to the area a chance to see what the Crystal Coast has to offer.”
The event will offer an intimate experience at the aquarium. Participants will get a personal tour of the habitats, with staff available to answer questions about the animals, habitats and ongoing conservation projects.
There will be a reptile presentation featuring turtles and snakes and an encounter with several of the aquarium’s avian ambassadors, including pelicans and owls.
After dinner, the night will end with a craft to engage younger family members.
“We hope the event will be successful and show just how much we appreciate our military. Right now, it’s only open to currently active members and their family, but hopefully we can host other events like this in the future,” Ms. Greene said.
Tickets are $35 per individual and $31.50 for aquarium members.
For more information and to register for the event call 252-247-4003, ext. 257, or visit the website ncaquariums.com/pine-knoll-shores-special-events.