VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, UNITED STATES
Story by Kristine Sturkie
In light of the current environment and the social distancing impacts due to COVID-19, the NEX, MWR Navy Entertainment and MWR Navy Fitness have joined forces to create a virtual celebration in honor of the nation’s Independence Day. Beginning on June 30, the NEX will be broadcasting live numerous musical performances, lessons from grill masters, an interactive barbeque cook-off competition and hosting a virtual 5K to #RunTogether across the worldwide Navy community. The events will be streamed live on the NEX Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/NavyExchange and has been coined “Across the Waves / Founded on Freedom.”
“The Fourth of July is a call for celebration, it’s our nation’s independence and as a Navy community, we strive every day to ensure that our freedoms and liberties remain unabated,” said Rich Honiball, NEXCOM, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer. The NEX, in its partnership with MWR Navy Entertainment and MWR Navy Fitness, gives our deserving patrons the ability to celebrate with their loved ones and shipmates safely and securely this year. While this year’s holiday may look a little bit different, it doesn’t mean the fun has to end! We’re a nation Founded on Freedom and we’re all in this together, so let’s sing along all week long, get some great grilling tips, join in on some friendly competition and RUN TOGETHER!”
On June 30 at 8 p.m., kicking off the four day celebration will be a musical performance by Navy veteran, Jared Ashley. Later in the night, on June 30at 11:59 p.m., around-the-clock star-studded entertainment will begin for worldwide Navy audiences. The NEX and MWR Navy Entertainment has lined up current and emerging artists, every four hours, representing different American genres: rock, blues, jazz, folk, hip-hop, funk, rap and country. Navy communities can tune in anytime from anywhere in the world to hear music exclusively for them.
Throughout the four days, celebrity grill masters will be sharing their favorite recipes, tips and techniques. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask the grill masters questions and grill alongside the experts. Using those skills, the NEX and its vendors invite viewers to participate in a virtual barbeque cook-off. To participate, viewers must send the NEX a five minute or less video that includes the participant’s finished barbequed product, the cooking technique, along with the recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants’ entries will be judged on three criteria— originality of the recipe, the appearance of the final dish and video creativity. Prizes will awarded to the top six winners, and the winners’ six videos will be broadcasted on the NEX Facebook page.
Lastly, after all the cooking and barbeque consumption, no better time to participate in a virtual 5K from July 3 until July 10. Join the NEX and MWR Navy Fitness as we #RunTogether. Participants can run as an individual or a group, family or shipmates then submit the after photos to email@example.com. Following the run, 20 winners will be chosen at random to receive a $50 NEX Gift Card. The first 500 participants to register will also receive a medal.